Heat poses danger to drug delivery

August 4, 2011 3:10:15 PM PDT
It's become a relatively common practice to receive prescriptions in the mail. But with this summer's high temperatures, drug home delivery could pose a danger to consumers.

Insurance companies often require some medications to be shipped to patients' homes, but heat exposure can break down the compounds and cause side effects.

"The medicines may not work. The ranges of everything you're watching, if it's blood pressure, or other things may vary, if you're doing blood lab tests, they may vary a lot from it, too," said Dr. Grant Fowler from the University of Texas Medical School.

"The boxes were marked not to exceed 86 degrees farenheit. If it had been overheated anytime during that shipping process, but it happened to be cooler when it arrived at your home, you would never know. There's nothing in these boxes to indicate temperature exposure," said customer Wendy Hale-Erlich.

Hale-Erlich picked up a box that was delivered to her front door and was disturbed to discover the box was hot to the touch.

She had no way of knowing how long her medications were exposed to high temperatures.

Doctors suggest consumers have their prescriptions shipped to their work address.

Another option is to pick them up at a local drug store.

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