Hurricane Season 2018 is Here. Do You Know if Your Specialty Pharmacy Shipments are Protected?

May 31, 2018 8:25:05 PM

When you hear about hurricane season, does your stomach go into knots? Get ready to grab the antacid. It’s June 1 and the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season officially starts today.

How did we get here so fast? Wasn’t it just yesterday when we dealt with hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017? Some of us are still recovering from the physical and financial damage caused by last year’s storms.  

How does hurricane season 2018 look?

It depends on if you’re a “glass is half empty” of “glass is half full” kind of person.

Experts Say 2018 Will be “Average to Above-Average in Intensity”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization (NOAA) expects the 2018 hurricane season to be “average to above-average in intensity.”  NOAA forecasts between 10 and 16 storms that will reach wind speeds of 39 mph (at the very least).  The agency also believes that between 5 and 9 will become hurricanes (winds up to 74 mph).

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But wait. There’s more. And you might want to grab another antacid about now.

NOAA states that, out of this year’s expected hurricanes, Atlantic regions may see 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3 or higher) with wind speeds of at least 111 mph.

If your glass is half full, you may be thinking, “maybe it won’t be that bad.” If your glass is half empty, you’re probably saying, “It is going to be that bad.”

Hurricanes are serious business, literally. Especially in health care where pharmacies and people count on specialty medicines getting from point A to point B, whatever the weather.

Many Are Still Recovering from the 2017 Hurricane Trifecta

Last year, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria made landfall in the continental U.S. and some U.S. territories from mid-August through early October 2017. 

Hurricane Maria proved that health care interruptions can be catastrophic. This is particularly troubling for specialty pharmacies and patients. Last year’s hurricanes created chaos for health care providers, payers, and other stakeholders throughout the specialty therapy care continuum.

Don’t Cancel Your “Parade” Just Yet. ParcelShield is Here to Help.

We hate to rain on anyone’s parade (no pun intended), but NOAA’s hurricane forecasts are historically very accurate. If NOAA is predicting 2018 storms in these numbers, we’re likely to weather quite a few. In fact, NOAA predictions are so reliable that ParcelShield’s proprietary Weather Farm™ technology — a machine learning technique that constantly analyzes 40 different weather elements that can impact a carrier’s delivery performance to patients waiting on specialty medications — uses this data for statistical modeling and delivery route predictions.

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But don’t be too quick in cancelling your “parade.” ParcelShield lives for bad weather. Really, we do.

To help keep specialty pharmacies (and patients) shielded from the ravages of hurricane season (and any other weather or disaster-related events that can make expensive medication shipments vanish into a Bermuda Triangle-esque black hole), ParcelShield also uses a continuous feed of:

  • Historical weather data
  • Historical weather impact on commercial aircraft delays and traffic patterns
  • Real-time parcel carrier performance data
  • Updates on regions with a probability for service degradation

ParcelShield uses this data to accurately predict route conditions with likely shipping delays and aid in parcel recoveries every day, not only during potentially catastrophic weather events.

It takes more than simply checking the weather to understand where a weather-related shipping problem can exist. ParcelShield’s technology deconstructs carrier routes and interprets how weather affects the ability of those carriers to deliver specialty medication parcels. It heads off shipping problems — compliments of hurricane season — often before they have the chance to happen.

Protect Specialty Med Shipments Before Bad Weather Hits

Specialty pharmacies need to be ready to protect operations, patients, and specialty medication shipments before the 2018 storms hit. Technologies such as ParcelShield FS exist to provide before, during and after parcel protection that:

  • Keeps storm and hurricane related delays down
  • Prevents or solves expensive medication losses and recoveries
  • Proactively keeps patients on therapy and informed of weather-related issues
  • Keeps specialty pharmacies and their carriers aware of potential problem areas in advance

When it comes to helping specialty pharmacies (and their patients) defy the odds of “delayed or prevented access to medical care,” ParcelShield likes tooting its own horn as much as the next person. However, we have the facts to back up our toots.

A leading U.S. specialty pharmacy engaged ParcelShield to … wait for it … shield its specialty medication shipments from weather events like those pesky hurricanes. During 2017’s hurricane Irma, ParcelShield not only helped that specialty pharmacy avoid nearly $13.9 million in lost revenue, but made sure its patients received their critical specialty medications as quickly as possible in the storm’s aftermath.

ParcelShield’s technology does this every day, all over the U.S., for every customer. You just won’t read about it in the news because we solve weather and disaster-related medication shipping issues — often before they happen.

Want to get a jump on protecting your specialty pharmacy shipments (and potential roadblocks to patient adherence) before predicted bad weather has a chance to strike?

To see how ParcelShield works and how it can benefit your specialty pharmacy, contact us for a demo. Or try a sample of our technology, free! To get weather-related shipping insights right now, subscribe to receive our free Daily Parcel Deliverability Prediction Alerts in your inbox.

You might be able to put those antacids back in the medicine cabinet, too!

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