Mapping equipment
What you will find in a SenseAnywhere temperature mapping report
Pharmaceutical stability testing ICH guidelines
Stability Chambers that meet ICH guidelines for pharmaceutical stability testing
Mapping equipment
What you will find in a SenseAnywhere temperature mapping report
Pharmaceutical stability testing ICH guidelines
Stability Chambers that meet ICH guidelines for pharmaceutical stability testing

A guide to pharmacy fridge temperature monitoring

Storage of pharmaceuticals

Pharmacy fridge temperature monitoring is an important and essential practice to ensure the safety of the medicines stored. Temperatures in pharmacy fridges as well as rooms in which medicines are stored, at a minimum, should be checked on a daily basis. Pharmacy fridges, for most medicines that require refrigeration, should be set to between 2°C and 8°C. Medicines that can be stored at ambient, or room temperatures should not exceed 25°C.

Patient safety and medication efficiency is, of course, the key objective for manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and healthcare professionals administering medicines to patients. This can be easily obtained through the implementation of automated, cloud-based systems for accurate, 24/7 temperature monitoring. 

This article will cover:

  • Typical storage of medicines within pharmacy fridges
  • Best practices for pharmacy fridge temperature monitoring
  • Manual and digital monitoring methods
  • The Withnell Sensors solution

Storage in a pharmaceutical refrigerator

A pharmaceutical fridge is required for the storage of refrigerated medicinal products. The air within a pharmacy fridge is circulated by a fan, creating a uniform temperature within the fridge, as well as providing an accelerated temperature pull down after the door has been opened. This is one of the main differences between pharmacy fridges when compared with standard commercial refrigerators seen in your everyday kitchen.

Pharmacy refrigerators can also typically be locked, with many pharmacy fridges also with glass doors or windows at the front, allowing greater visibility of stock levels as well as preventing the storage of non-medicinal products within the fridge. This is discouraged due to possible cross-contamination risks.

How should you check your medicine fridge temperature?

For best practice, fridge temperature monitoring in a pharmacy should follow EU Good Distribution Practice (GDP) Guidelines. As a minimum, a daily check provides you with some assurance that the medicines are being stored at the right temperature. However, it is best practice to log temperatures at hourly intervals. This is because fridge temperatures fluctuate during the day, as staff open the fridge to take out medication to administer to a patient.

If you are only recording your pharmacy fridge temperature monitoring conditions daily, these fluctuations will be missed. Pharmacy fridge temperature monitoring should be recorded by a calibrated electronic min/max thermometer or temperature sensor. The MHRA advise measuring fridge temperature in a pharmacy by using a sensor with an accuracy of ±0.5C.

Monitoring medicine fridge temperatures manually or digitally

There are two different ways a pharmacy can approach the checking of a medicine fridge temperature.

Manual checks

A dedicated staff member or members can be assigned to manually check the fridge temperature. This usually involves a thermometer or temperature sensor with a real-time display, so that readings can be taken.

However, there are numerous setbacks to this approach. Firstly, in larger organisations, this can take up a significant amount of staff’s time, which may also lead to increased staffing costs. Human error also comes into play, providing inconsistencies with the regularity of readings or readings that might not be noted accurately.

Furthermore, this doesn’t actually prevent any temperature excursions. Some pharmacy fridges have an alarm for temperature excursions, however, it is best to implement an alarm system that can instantly alert you of any temperature deviations, even remotely, and through a media channel best suited to your stakeholders. Finally, this requires the opening of the pharmacy fridge door, which naturally disrupts the temperature stability within the storage unit.

Digital pharmacy fridge temperature monitoring

Choosing a digital solution for your pharmacy fridge temperature monitoring removes these setbacks. A digital temperature monitoring system essentially does the work for you! Recording intervals can be set to automatically log fridge temperature in a pharmacy. These recordings will also be logged, so no manual intervention is required, removing human error, staffing time or even potential data tampering issues.

Digital temperature monitoring systems also come with alarm settings, with parameters that can be set for the data loggers at any specific temperature range. This means that the problem can be rectified before breaching the medicines' storage temperature requirements. Through the continuous monitoring and complete data history reports, this ultimately means that patient safety is ensured and compliance is a breeze.

Our monitoring solution

We have a market-leading solution for pharmacy fridge temperature monitoring, used by industry leaders across the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

Our system - the SenseAnywhere Airosensor, comes with an abundance of benefits, from its 10-year battery life and unmatched software to its 24/7 smart device data access. The sensor comes inbuilt with a modifiable alarm system, providing instant Email or SMS warnings should temperature fall outside of set parameters. Providing the ultimate security system for the safety of your medications.  

To learn more about all of the benefits of this system follow the link below, or get in touch to discuss your 7-day free trial.