Eli Lilly to help fund cold chain initiative

$1.15m funding from Eli Lilly and Company will support a new cold chain capacity initiative in low- and middle-income countries, to help improve medicine access.

Eli Lilly to help fund cold chain capacity initiative

To help expand access to medicines in low- and middle-income countries (LICs) Eli Lilly and Company has announced it will provide $1.15m to a new cold chain capacity initiative.

The investment will enable an estimated 150 medical-grade refrigeration units to be installed at 25 Life for a Child partner facilities in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia.

Cold chain – a vital part of medical logistics

Cold chain refers to the transportation and storage of temperature-controlled medications. It is a vital part of medical logistics, especially as the global pharmaceutical industry shifts towards the production of biopharmaceutical products, such as biologics and other temperature-sensitive molecules.

Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief, the organisation spearheading the cold chain initiative, remarked on the current state of global cold chain distribution: “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.”

“Efforts to expand access to medicines, especially insulin, are only beneficial when effective cold chain systems are in place to keep them at the right temperature on their way to patients,” commented Leigh Ann Pusey, Executive Vice President of corporate affairs and communications for Lilly.

“… this effort [to boost cold chain capacity] will make a substantial difference in providing patients around the world with medicines they need to address serious health issues like diabetes,” added Pusey,

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Eli Lilly’s 30×30 initiative

Lilly’s support of the cold chain capacity initiative is part of Lilly 30×30. This is an effort which aims to improve access and address barriers to quality healthcare for 30 million people living in limited-resource settings annually, by 2030. In 2022, Lilly and its affiliates provided insulin and reusable pens to Direct Relief related to support of the Life for a Child programme, impacting more than 30 countries worldwide.