Pharmaceuticals SAP

An Approach to Handle Radioactive Materials in SAP

By: | Velmurugan Arunachalam

Publish Date: December 13, 2017

Radioactive materials are used in process industries for multiple purposes; a predominant use, however, lies in the Pharma industry. Radiopharmaceuticals have a very short, usable life of the radio-active product when compared to conventional pharmaceuticals. The shelf-life (expiry period) of a radioactive material depends primarily on the physical half-life of the radioisotope, the radiochemical stability and the content of the longer-lived radio-nuclidic impurities in the material under consideration as per WHO (World Health Org.).

At the end of the shelf-life or expiry period, the radioactivity would have decreased to an extent where insufficient radioactivity remains to serve the intended purpose. Chemical or radiation decomposition is a crucial reason for reducing the radiochemical purity or radio-activeness of the radioactive material. The challenge lies in proper storage of the material and in proper usage based on the radio activeness of the material, as they are usually purchased in volumes by industries.
Radio-activeness of radioactive material is measured in Millicurie [mCi], and they must be stored under specific conditions. Even then their radioactivity levels might decrease exponentially over a periodtime. A material with a certain amount of millicurie on day one, may not have the same amount of millicurie on day 30. The critical parameter to be considered at the time of usage is not the weight or volume of the compound, but the measure of the mCi levels.

Inventory Handling
The below are a few key points to be considered during inventory handling of radioactive material.

  • The inventory should be indicated in millicurie [mCi]
  • Also, the inventory should be specified in each ml/gm whichever is the base measurement of volume, i.e.; there should be a measure of how much mCi of radio-activeness is present in each measure of the material.
  • The inventory must be in millicurie [mCi] and the values should auto-reduce based on the specifications and properties.
  • The valuation of inventory should also be based on millicurie [mCi] and not by other measures.

Approach: Can Catch Weight Management be a solution?

For any planning & execution system, it has always been a challenge to implement a flexible business model to support various processes which are complex & variable from product to product. It becomes more challenging if the focus is on a specific segment where the products are measured in parallel units of measure and may vary in terms of weight over a period that in turn changes the inventories & valuations.
In the case of radioactive material, the weights remain the same, but the radio-activeness might vary from piece to piece with the passage of time during storage; hence each volume will not have the same amount of radio-activeness as it did on procurement. Such materials are required to be managed in different Unit of Measures (UoM).
Catch Weight Management solution offers the below key features:
– Variable weight handling ability.
– Accuracy in stock maintenance.
– Correct financial handling regarding the cost of products – Each stock transaction is handled with two units of measure to maintain the different UoMs at the transaction level.
Two units of measure are provided which are independently maintained in inventory management.

  • Millicurie [mCi] as catch weight and valuation relevant
  • Base units can be as per the material.

Auto Reduction of Radioactivity:
Since radio-activeness reduces over time, set up a background job to consume millicurie quantity (catch weight) based on the specification. The base unit (in each) quantity will remain as is.
Recommended Process Flow
Procurement of Radio-active material
Stock/Storage of radioactive material
(Millicurie – catch weight, Each/bottles – base unit)
Monitor the current radio-activeness and material volume
Set up background job to reduce reduction in radio activeness (catch weight qty)
Catch Weight Management is used in the food/meat industry etc., but here it is being recommended as an approach to handle radioactive materials, as there is no other direct solution in place to handle radioactivity as a variable measurement.
If you are a Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical company, do get in touch with us to discuss how we can help improve your business through the effective use of technology.
Velmurugan Arunachalam -Solution Architect – SAP PP/QM @ YASH Technologies

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