Keeping mail-order medicines safe in Phoenix heat
Your prescription drugs at risk during high temperatures
We get the question a lot during the summer ‘My mailbox is piping hot. Does that hurt my medicines?’’’ said Sam Hammad, Banner pharmacy operations director.

PHOENIX (June 21, 2017) – As high temperatures continue to bake the metro Phoenix area, many wonder if medicines mailed to their homes are being hurt by sizzling mailbox temperatures – which can be more than 150 degrees during normal summertime days.

It’s a question more and more people are asking as home delivery is increasingly popular option for patients.

Banner Pharmacy Services, which provides home prescription delivery to Banner employees, is solving the summer-heat problem by using special boxes, fillers and protocols as it packages and distributes more than 500 prescriptions a day.

“We get the question a lot during the summer ‘My mailbox is piping hot. Does that hurt my medicines?’’’ said Sam Hammad, Banner pharmacy operations director.

Some medications can lose their effectiveness, he said.

Banner Pharmacy Services experts offers these tips to make sure your medications haven’t been hurt by high temperatures as they make their way from the warehouse to the medicine cabinet:

  • If you have concerns about drugs being left in mailboxes, please check your mailbox or arrange regular pickup.

  • Shipments usually arrive at the same time of the month, so plan ahead.

  • If you are ill and can’t make it to the mailbox, please have a neighbor or friend pick them up for you. Or contact your pharmacy to make other arrangements.

  • Once you receive your medications, read the instructions carefully for storage information. Some drugs must be refrigerated after opening; others don’t need to be; others must be kept out of sunlight.

  • Understand what type of medications you use. Two types of medications that can be affected by summertime heat: those that have to be kept cold all the year round and those that pharmacies like Banner believe require special care because they are more sensitive to temperature spikes.

  • Banner, like other pharmacy operations, has worked with different types of packaging, including cornstarch fillers, to get the right kind of mailing containers to prevent heat and temperature spikes. Patients may get different looking packages as the summer season begins.

  • Even if you pick up your medications from a retail pharmacy, try to get them home and in the shaded spot as quickly as possible. The heat and sunlight in the car could impact some medications.


About Banner Health

Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system owns and operates 28 acute-care hospitals, Banner Health Network, Banner – University Medicine, academic and employed physician groups, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services; including Banner Urgent Care, family clinics, home care and hospice services, pharmacies and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit