• Temperature Measurement in a Mail Order Delivery System

      Zappia, Joseph Rocco; Gavelda, Mark F.; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2005)
      Objective: To determine whether prescription medication vials are exposed to excessive temperatures during delivery by mail or truck by recording temperatures continuously throughout the delivery process. Methods: During one part of the study, temperatures were recorded, starting when the package, housing the prescription vial and digital thermometer, was placed in the mailbox in Phoenix and continued every 15 minutes until the package was retrieved from the researcher’s mailbox in Tucson. During the second component of the study, temperatures were recorded starting when the package was dropped off at the shipping facility and continued every 15 minutes throughout ground delivery by truck until the package was delivered to the researcher’s home. Ten trials were done for each arm of the study on five different days, with two packages for each arm being sent each time. Results: There were 1,300 temperature readings for the mail arm of the study. Five hundred twenty-two temperature readings were in excess of the desired range of 59-86ο F; for a percentage of 40.1%. For the truck arm of the study, there were 1,272 temperature readings. Three hundred sixty-nine temperature readings were in excess of the desired range; a percentage of 29.0%. Temperature readings ranged from 69.8-111.2ο F for the mailed packages and 70.7-120.5ο F for the packages sent by truck. Conclusions: Prescription medication vials are subjected to excessive temperatures during delivery by mail and truck.