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Storage of Dangerous Drugs Requiring Refrigeration

Published: Jan 28, 2021 by Brandon Smith

As COVID-19 vaccines have begun to be distributed across Ohio these past six weeks, much has been said about the somewhat unusual storage and temperature requirements and their consequences.

For example, local and national headlines have detailed alleged intentional spoiling of vaccine doses by a pharmacist in Wisconsin and the alleged failure of an Ohio provider to monitor storage temperatures that led to the wasting of nearly nine hundred doses.

Fortunately, the news has not all been negative. Stories of mechanical failures in freezers leading to rapid responses that managed to distribute all remaining doses before they were spoiled and stories of doses caught in a snow storm being distributed stranded car by stranded car have also been reported.

With all of the attention currently being shown to the storage requirements for these vaccines, this is a good time to remind providers and terminal distributors what the requirements are for ensuring the safe storage of dangerous drugs requiring refrigeration.

The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy requires that each refrigerator or freezer used for the storage of dangerous drugs have either a temperature log recording, at a minimum, daily observations or have a temperature monitoring system that can alert staff to a change in temperature. Each terminal distributor must also develop and implement policies and procedures to respond to any temperature issues and ensure that no food or beverage is stored in refrigerators or freezers used to store dangerous drugs.

If you have questions regarding the requirements for storing dangerous drugs under refrigeration, you should consider contacting the attorneys at Graff & McGovern, LPA. Attorney Brandon Smith is available at (614) 228-5800, ext. 7 and at