Which Method of Sterilization Should I Use?

That is the big question. Fortunately, when you boil it down to its essence, it’s actually quite easy to answer. There are only one or two questions that need to be asked and answered, and then the decision should be straightforward.

What method(s) will work to sterilize my product in a safe and effective manner? Often the answer to that question dictates the method as one may only be able to use EO (or another gaseous niche method), or radiation may be the only method that works. If the product is designed with sterilization in mind and can be processed with either a gaseous or radiation methods, then the second question comes into play.

What methods will sterilize my product in the most cost effective manner? This is a bit more complex question as it needs to take into account things like product and packaging materials and design, cost of the sterilization equipment and upkeep of that equipment, product transportation, sterilization indicator system, validation and requalification costs, routine sterilization costs, turnaround time, etc.

Once these questions are properly and thoughtfully answered, the decision as to the sterilization methodology, and whether to do this processing at a contract sterilization organization or in-house, should become self-evident.