Marken’s Complete Supply Chain Infrastructure Meets Nation’s Vaccine Trial Distribution Needs in 8 Weeks

medical storage units
Marken’s Complete Supply Chain Infrastructure Meets Nation’s Vaccine Trial Distribution Needs in 8 Weeks

Marken was requested by a Ministry of Health to propose an end-to-end solution as a single supplier for vaccine trial storage, distribution and logistics on a national scale. To meet this request, Marken’s dedicated team of experts expanded their GMP depot footprint and electrical infrastructure to support a 30-fold increase in freezer capacity.

GOAL

To rapidly expand ultralow freezer (ULF) capacity despite an inadequate electrical grid, then implement an urgent national clinical vaccine distribution program.

medical storage units

CHALLENGE

In many places, the facilities and infrastructure for wide distribution of a vaccine that requires storage at -80˚C are not a given. In this case, challenges included:

  • The storage facility only had two ULF; 62 were needed
  • Despite a preexisting backup generator with 100% redundancy, the site required additional power for the increased capacity
  • The new freezers needed to be qualified before use
  • Increased security was necessary
  • The vaccine had to be distributed nationwide
  • Time was of the utmost essence

SOLUTION

Through agility and innovation, the Marken team developed a unique and flexible storage, distribution and specialty logistics strategy to provide the solutions needed for the Ministry of Health. The engineering portion of the plan included facility expansion with an electrical infrastructure upgrade, while the expertise already in place at Marken ensured the proper handling of -80˚C storage, qualification, distribution and logistics.

The government awarded Marken the clinical vaccine distribution contract for the entire country. In eight weeks, Marken:

  • Increased the ULF freezer count from 2 to 62
  • Maintained best-in-class quality measures
  • Worked with local authorities to secure power for the site from the national grid
  • Heightened security, including closed-circuit television (CCTV) installation
  • Deployed cold chain distribution of standard-size vaccine vial trays to local healthcare centers

Marken saved time, minimized cost and reduced risk for this client in a critical and urgent initiative.

OUTCOME

With a high-quality, complete end-to-end solution, Marken initiated a nation’s clinical vaccination program in eight weeks. The government classified the depot as a national concern and placed Marken employees on the essential workers list to receive the first wave of vaccines.

About Marken
Marken is a wholly owned subsidiary of UPS and is a critical part of UPS Healthcare. With Polar Speed and Marken included, the UPS Healthcare division staffs 128 locations with 5,500 employees worldwide. Marken offers a state-of-the-art GMP-compliant depot network and logistic hubs for clinical drug product storage and distribution in 56 locations worldwide, while maintaining the leading position for Direct to Patient and Home Healthcare services, biological sample shipments and biological kit production. Marken’s dedicated 1,600 staff members manage 100,000 drug product and biological sample shipments every month at all temperature ranges in more than 220 countries. Additional services such as ancillary material sourcing, storage and distribution, shipment lane verification and qualifications, as well as GDP, regulatory and compliance consultancy add to Marken’s unique position in the pharma and logistics industry.


Issued March 2021

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