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medicine storage and handling guide

How to Ensure Proper Storage and Handling of Medicines: A 10-Step Guide

Ensuring proper storage and handling of medications is critical for healthcare organizations to maintain patient safety, regulatory compliance, and operational efficiency. By following the best practices for handling and storage of medicines, healthcare providers can offer high-quality treatments to their patients, uphold their professional reputation, and minimize wastage and financial losses.

Safe storage and handling of medicines throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain is essential for building robust healthcare systems. Therefore, healthcare entities must select pharmaceutical suppliers that adhere by the medicine storage and handling best practices listed in WHO’s GDP guidelines. Additionally, they must establish a quality assurance checklist at their end for the proper storage and handling of medicines, as listed below.

Safe Handling and Storage Of Medicines – A 10-Step Checklist for Health Organizations

1.      Establish Written Policies and Procedures

Develop comprehensive written policies and procedures for the storage and handling of medications within your organization. Ensure that these documents align with local regulations and global industry standards. Incorporate measures for strict adherence to these procedures.

2.      Staff Training and Education

Conduct regular training sessions for healthcare personnel involved in medication storage and handling. Ensure that staff members are aware of the organization’s policies and are trained on proper storage techniques, including temperature control, humidity considerations, and security measures.

3.      Storage Facilities Design

Design cold storage facilities with consideration for the specific storage requirements of different medications. Separate areas for refrigerated, frozen, and room temperature storage may be necessary. Ensure proper ventilation and lighting and implement humidity-control measures as required. Keep medications in their original packaging to protect them from light, moisture, and air. If the medication comes in a blister pack or a specific container, it is designed to maintain its stability.

4.      Temperature Monitoring Systems

Implement temperature monitoring systems in storage areas where medications are placed. Regularly calibrate and maintain these systems to ensure accurate temperature readings. Establish protocols for responding to temperature deviations.

5.      Check The Labeling

Ensure that all medications are properly labeled with accurate information, including expiration dates and storage requirements. Regularly check labels for readability and correctness and to discard any expired products as per recommended disposal methods. Flag any disparities for further investigation.

6.      Security Measures

Implement security measures to prevent unauthorized access to medication storage areas. This includes restricted access, surveillance systems, and alarm systems. Monitor access logs regularly.

7.      Regular Audits and Inspections:

Conduct regular audits and inspections of medication storage areas. Ensure that medications are stored according to established policies, and check for any signs of damage, contamination, or expired products.

8.      Emergency Preparedness:

Develop emergency protocols for situations such as power outages, natural disasters, or other emergencies. Ensure that backup power systems are in place for critical storage areas, and have contingency plans for relocating medications if necessary.

9.      Quality Assurance Program

Establish a quality assurance program that includes ongoing monitoring and evaluation of medication storage and handling practices. Use feedback from audits and inspections to continuously improve processes. Plan regular maintenance and upgrades of your storage facilities to abide by the latest industry standards for medicine storage.

10.  Collaboration with Pharmacies and Suppliers

Collaborate with reputed GDP-compliant pharmacies and medication suppliers to ensure the safe and timely delivery of high-quality medications. Use our supplier vetting checklist to choose reliable pharmaceutical suppliers. Establish communication channels to address any issues related to the storage and handling of medications during the transportation and delivery process.

safe handling of medicines checklist infographic


Medicines form the backbone of any healthcare organization. Therefore, pharmaceutical quality assurance and control should be a top priority for all healthcare professionals. Hence, it is crucial for healthcare entities to integrate these steps for the safe and appropriate storage and handling of medicines into their overall quality and safety programs. Compliance with these guidelines not only ensures patient safety but also helps in maintaining regulatory compliance and fostering a culture of continuous improvement within the organization.

Choosing a reliable pharmaceutical supplier is the first step towards ensuring safe and effective treatments for your patients. At Eudaico, we comply with WHO-GDP guidelines throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain to deliver high-quality and reliable medicines to healthcare organizations across the globe. Contact us to discuss potential partnerships!

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