US COPD Coalition

Summer Heat and Mail-Order Medicine


The following is re-printed from a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mailing.

Mail-order medication delivery options are often necessary to improve access to medical treatment, especially for rural tribal communities that may not have nearby pharmacies. But the heat of summer warrants a few extra precautions for this delivery option.

For example, many medications must be kept cool to stay effective. Medicine that sits outside in the sun, rain, or humidity after delivery could become less effective. Leaving medicine in a hot vehicle can also lower its effectiveness.

What caregivers can do:

  • If you will be unable to bring the medicine inside soon after delivery, have someone you trust bring it in for you.
  • If the home becomes too hot, keep the medicine in a temperature-controlled container.
  • Check with the pharmacy or the company selling the medicine to see if they use temperature-controlled packaging.
  • Check with the mail carrier to see if they use temperature-controlled vehicles.

If you think medicine has been affected, speak with the pharmacist, insurance company, or the medication manufacturer to get a replacement.