900,000 times a year, life gets the right of way

Matt Silverberg, Chief Commercial Officer, Life Couriers

That’s how many radiopharmaceutical shipments we make across the U.S. and Europe year after year. Nine hundred thousand. No one delivers more or has been doing it as long (50+ years and counting). With that kind of volume, you’d think we might see the next shipment as just another box—or the patient as just another number in a long list of many.

But then I’m reminded of Tammy, a 10-year-old girl with dreams of being a scientist herself. She was diagnosed with neuroblastoma not too long ago. Or Bill, a retired steelworker who’s in the fight of his life with metastatic prostate cancer. Then there’s Greta, a young mother of two who just learned she has breast cancer.

I could go on—you no doubt have stories of your own.

Cancer Diagnostic

Tammy, Bill and Greta remind me of the responsibility we gladly accept to help them live. Our global family of logistics companies handles the complete value chain of radiopharmaceutical logistics: from transporting the diagnostic isotope to delivering the targeted radiotherapy for patient care in less than 24 hours. And when a life is on the line, every minute matters. Even the most breakthrough therapy can fail if it arrives too late.

When I think of the urgency that drives all that we do, I see Tammy and her parents arriving at the cancer center first thing in the morning and right on time. And that isn’t easy because they live in a small town an hour and a half away. If the bulk vial doesn’t arrive at the center as scheduled the night before, then Tammy’s dose can’t be prepared in the hot lab early the next morning in time for her appointment. Her family might have made a three-hour round trip for nothing, as her cancer continues to progress untreated.

In life science logistics, delays are the real disease. And the consequences can be devastating. That’s why we deliver as scheduled 99.57% of the time. As for the other 0.43%? We think of Tammy’s family. And like you, we never back down from a challenge.

life science logistics

The essential connection for clinical trials

When Bill’s prostate cancer advanced, traditional therapies were no longer an option. But a clinical trial offered new hope, and Bill was an ideal candidate.

After talking it over with his family and provider team, Bill signed up.

His participation required several infusions at precise intervals over an extended period. Missing even a single dose was unthinkable.

And that was the challenge: the radionuclide was prepared hundreds of miles from the clinical site. And with a short half-life, the clock was ticking. There was no room for error, and that’s why we were the perfect fit to handle the logistics.

We’re proud of our on-time record, but we never focus on speed for speed’s sake. What we did for Bill is too important for that. The truth is, precision and speed are more than competitive advantages. They are the ethical choice.

When we get the call, we step up: Class A packaging. Next Flight Out service to the nuclear pharmacy serving the clinical trial site. And our in-house courier network with professional drivers trained in the applicable OSHA, HIPAA and Hazmat standards. We were there for Bill, making the right connections all the way to the point of care—and helping ensure he never missed a dose, or a chance for a longer life.

Cancer Diagnostic

Delivering hope across Europe

Greta’s breast cancer diagnosis was a shock to everyone. What happens next? How does she tell her children? How will this affect her family and career? There were a lot of unknowns. But one thing was certain: she would receive her radiotherapy on time, every time. We were there to help make sure of it.

The radionuclide her hospital’s nuclear pharmacy needed had to shipped from another country far from her hometown in Germany. But European logistics is one of our specialties: we know how to navigate the regulatory complexities and customs clearance requirements from nation to nation. Our 24/7 global control tower managed every shipment, providing a full chain of custody along the entire journey—including custom reporting.

So Greta’s caregivers could focus on Greta—not whether every shipment would arrive on time.

radiopharma treatments

Life gets the right of way

You may be sensing a common theme in the three stories I just shared. In every case, it’s not about the shipment—it’s about the patient whose life depends on it. I like to think about the responsibility this way.

Imagine you’ve just finished another long day at work, and you’re driving home at last. You hear it first, the faint and familiar sound of a siren behind you. Then you see the ambulance, lights flashing and weaving through traffic. Instantly you pull over and let the ambulance pass. It’s just what you do: a life is on the line, and the driver will let nothing stand in the way of taking care of the patient.

radiopharmaceutical logistics

That’s how I see radiopharmaceutical logistics: nothing should stand in the way of delivering every shipment on time. Life gets the right of way. For Tammy, Bill, Greta—every patient we serve, every time.

This is why we do what we do here. And we’ll never stop seeking new ways to improve logistics for life.

SNMMI Conference

Life science logistics is all we do. Visit us at Booth #246 the SNMMI conference in Toronto on June 8-11, 2024 to learn more.

Call 1-800-325-4946. Or visit https://www.associated-couriers.com/