Oklahoma proposes 1st temperature rule for shipped medications

Oklahoma regulators proposed the nation's first detailed rule regarding temperature control while shipping medications, NBC News reported Nov. 17.

Exposure to extreme temperatures can degrade or weaken drugs, causing them to become ineffective or unsafe for patients. How pharmacies store medications is regulated, but shipping has been "largely a system of blind trust," according to the report. An NBC News investigation found most state pharmacy boards do not have specific rules for how pharmacies should ship customers' medication.

The proposed rule is the first to set clear guidelines for temperature safety during transit. It would require pharmacies to use packaging tested to ensure drugs do not go outside their safe temperature ranges, be able to assess the safety of medication if there are delays in delivery and mandate they give patients notification of shipping and delivery, the report said.

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