Eli Lilly improves cold chain capacity - European Medical Journal

Eli Lilly improves cold chain capacity

1 Mins

Cold chain capacity in low- to middle-income countries is set to be boosted thanks to a new initiative by Eli Lilly and Company and the humanitarian aid organisation Direct Relief.

Eli Lilly has pledged $1.15m in funding to Direct Relief to install an estimated 150 medical-grade refrigeration units across Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and southeast Asia. “The lack of cold chain distribution capacity in much of the world already prevents many people from accessing the medications and therapies they need, even when they are free,” said Thomas Tighe, President and CEO, Direct Relief. “If this issue is not addressed, the divide between those who have access to essential medical products and those who don’t will only widen.”

As the leading insulin manufacturer in the US, Eli Lilly has launched the initiative as part of its commitment to improve access to insulin globally. Insulin needs to be stored between 2°C and 8°C to preserve its effectiveness, and many countries lack the facilities to store it safely.

The refrigeration units will be installed in 25 ‘Life for a Child’ facilities that are partnered with Direct Relief. Life For Child is a charity for children and young people with diabetes who do not have clear access pathways to treatment and care.

Other disease areas could also benefit the initiative as the industry is rapidly moving towards the production of biologics and other temperature-sensitive molecules. BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine, for example, also needs to be stored in the same temperature range.

“We are grateful to Lilly for their support of this crucial initiative,” said Tighe added. “Their dedication to global health and access to essential medical products is making a real difference in the lives of those in need.”

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