Safe Medication Delivery in All Temps
At this time of year, climate conditions across the U.S. and its territories can vary widely. On a day when residents of Tampa, Florida, are enjoying sunshine and warm temperatures, those living in International Falls, Minnesota, may be waking up to blizzard conditions and temperatures well below freezing.
At Express Scripts, we’ve developed the highest level of standards for packaging and shipping temperature-sensitive drugs to keep medications safe and within appropriate temperature ranges.
Anticipating Weather Patterns
Some medications such as insulin, many specialty medications, hydrocortisone and various other creams and gels require temperature controls.
For every medication shipment that leaves our pharmacy, we use advanced technology that takes into account the acceptable temperature range for each medication, as well as the entire forecasted weather patterns that the medication will pass through along its journey from our pharmacy to the patient’s hands.
Using a forecasting temperature program with a patented algorithm, shipping and destination temperatures are identified and then matched up to the medication’s temperature profile. We use this information to determine the appropriate shipping timeframe and packaging that should be used in transit.
For those medications that require it, we package them in temperature-protective coolers with gel packs to ensure that the medications stay within a safe temperature range — even if the package is sitting outside for several hours after delivery.
The type of packaging and method of shipping that is used is based on the specific temperature conditions at the time of shipping and also is based on extensive testing that accounts for a wide range of destination temperatures. Therefore, the packaging materials may be different based on the temperature the day the package is mailed.
Commitment to Medication Safety
At Express Scripts, we are focused on ensuring the integrity of the medication we ship. And our temperature technology and packaging is just one example of how we’re making the use of prescription drugs safer for the tens of millions of Americans we serve.
Our overall dispensing accuracy rate is greater than 99.9995%. Our dispensing facilities use leading-edge systems and technology and we carefully monitor each prescription from the time it is received until the medication is shipped.
Even with these precautions, patients who are concerned that their medication has been damaged, can call our pharmacists and request a replacement.