Case study

Urdarapotek avoids product loss and gains peace of mind that medicines stored in the pharmacy are safe with Controlant

About Urdarapotek

Industry: Pharmacy
Company size:
Reykjavik, Iceland

Urdarapotek is a privately owned pharmacy located in Reykjavik, Iceland. The pharmacy opened in 2010 and is owned and operated by Gudrun Palsdottir, M.Pharm, MBA. Although there is only one Urdarapotek branch, it has been able to reap many benefits since investing in the Controlant Facility Monitoring solution. 

Urdarapotek has three Controlant loggers, one for monitoring room temperature and two for refrigerators. These loggers measure temperature in real-time and send the data to the Controlant cloud platform via a local gateway.  

The need to continuously monitor temperature in pharmacies 

Pharmacies are required to monitor the temperature of their refrigerators and the room temperature in order to comply with regulations and ensure the quality of their pharmaceutical products. Some medications must be stored at room temperature and others are kept in fridges.  

Before implementing Controlant’s solution, Gudrun had to measure the temperature of her various refrigerators as well as the room temperature manually and document it daily in order to comply with regulations. This daily measurement was not enough, however, to detect if the outside temperature heated up the pharmacy too much or if a refrigerator failed. Until implementing Controlant, the staff of Urdarapotek had no way of knowing until it was too late if the products were damaged, or would never find out in the first place.

Choosing Controlant  

Gudrun learned about Controlant from one of Controlant’s Business Development Directors, who is also a pharmacist and acquaintance of hers. Because Gudrun knew and trusted Controlant, she was keen to try out the solution and see if she would benefit from real-time monitoring, despite the added operational costs. 

On top of that, the medicines Urdarapotek carries and sells are distributed to the pharmacy through Distica and Paralogis, Icelandic distributors who are also loyal Controlant customers. With Controlant, Gudrun knows that the medicines in her pharmacy are properly controlled until they get to her pharmacy and will continue to be controlled with the same precision while stored in her storeroom and refrigerators.  

Benefits and cost savings from real-time monitoring and alerts

After implementing the Controlant Facility Monitoring solution in her pharmacy, Gudrun was able to get peace of mind that her medicines are safe. Since using the solution, the pharmacy has experienced a few incidents that would have otherwise resulted in tens of thousands of Euros worth of lost products. 

On an uncharacteristically hot day in Iceland, Gudrun was out of the country on her summer vacation. She received an alert via SMS that the room temperature within the pharmacy was rising beyond the optimal maximum temperature. She was able to call her colleagues at the pharmacy and ask them to open the doors and windows to lower the overall temperature in the shop. That did the trick and no products were wasted as a result. Without that real-time alert, it might never have been discovered that the temperature in the pharmacy was getting too high. 

Another incident happened when the temperature of one of the refrigerators started to rapidly decline. After calling the company that services the fridges, they were able to move the medicines to another refrigerator to temporarily keep them safe. At the time this happened, the medicines within the fridge were worth roughly one million Icelandic Krona (approximately 7.500 EUR). Gudrun says, however, that the fridges often store products worth much more, for example when keeping expensive medicines over night for a patient. 

Without Controlant, Gudrun and her team of pharmacists would have no idea if incidents like this happened until it was too late. Or perhaps they would find out that the temperature had gone out of bounds during the daily temperature measurement, but not know for how long or have any knowledge as to whether or not the medicine is safe. In these cases of doubt, the medicine must be thrown away. They also now question if anything happened to the medicine in the past without ever having known. Gudrun says,

“I sleep better at night knowing Controlant is keeping my medicines safe.”

Sharing data and assuring quality with distributors 

Sometimes the pharmacy also needs to return medicine to their distributor. In these cases, Gudrun can easily share the data with the distributor to prove that the products have been properly quality controlled and are still effective and safe. This allows the distributor to accept the returned products, avoiding having to throw out excess or unsold medication. 

Well worth the investment 

Although Controlant requires no large upfront investments as it is sold as a subscription service, it still adds to the monthly operational costs of this pharmacy. Gudrun assures anyone looking for a similar solution, however, that it is well worth the small investment. She says,

“Even if I don’t like to add to my monthly costs, I don’t mind it with Controlant, because it gives me peace of mind.”

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