Easiest Way to Ship Something Cold

I have a cousin who ordered a medication that needs to stay refrigerated, and has asked me to ship it to another state in the US. Does anyone have experience in doing this? What’s the easiest way? While cost is important to me, ease and simplicity are more important.

How cold does it need to stay?
One solution would be to get a styrofoam cold box, an ice pack that’s been in the freezer for a while, and ship the medicine in with the ice pack.

To get more elaborate if it needs to stay very cold, use dry ice instead of an ice pack (this will also likely be more expensive to ship - dry ice containers must be labeled as such on the outside.)

Less elaborate if it doesn’t need to stay that cold - just ship overnight.

I’d call a drug store and ask them.

If the med just needs to be cooler than room temperature, you should be able to pack it with some frozen hot/cold packs and overnight it if it needs to go far.

Dry ice is more trouble than it’s worth for shipping as it needs to be disclosed and placarded. Some carries will refuse it entirely, and some will take it for an added hazmat charge. I know
FedEx gets really hinky with it, but AFAIK, the post office is OK with it in parcel post packages that don’t go on airplanes.

Easiest? Have the shipper ship it direct. Why do they need you to be a middleman?

FedEx has a shipping container with a cooling unit that will. according to them,

The benefit of this over dry ice is that your shipment may not be able to tolerate freezing. This will avoid that. I’ll bet it’s pricey, but they’ll make it easy.

A bag or two of frozen peas will surround the cargo more closely than a cold pack. You can also carry it on a plane as carry-on luggage, which you can’t do with a cold pack.

I had a coworker who regularly received medicine that needed to be kept chilled. She received it in a styrofoam box packed with dry ice.

One year, I packed a whole frozen turkey into my carry-on. Ok, that’s a different story…

I wouldn’t trust frozen peas to keep something cold for shipping, though. They’d be fine for a plane trip, but you’re not going to get more than a few hours of cold out of them.

The simplest and safest (and quite possibly also cheapest, depending on how much the medicine costs) would be for your cousin (or whoever the recipient is) to buy a new supply from a pharmacy in their current place of residence.

I just checked and the medicine is called Copaxone, which appears to be for MS. This is a distant cousin and I had no idea she had MS. She asked me to put it in dry ice, but I wonder if that’s necessary. To be honest, I don’t even know where to get dry ice. I checked online and couldn’t tell just how refrigerated Copaxone has to stay.

Agreed, but that horse has left the barn. The medicine is sitting in my fridge.

The pharmacist who sold it to you might know.

Well, if the cousin has asked you to use dry ice, shouldn’t you use dry ice?

I can buy it from my local grocery store. Just google “buy dry ice your location.”

I’m not sure I follow. If you agree that it’s cheaper and simpler for the recipient to buy a new supply himself, then you can simply discard the one that is already in your fridge. Take it to your local pharmacist and they’ll see that it’s disposed of properly.

Sorry I misunderstood. I agree that it would be better for her next round. But I think the medicine is quite expensive and I suspect that her insurance will not want to pay for it twice.

Yes, but she wasn’t very confident. And then I googled it and got conflicting results.

Whose insurance paid for the medicine that’s in your refrigerator, and whose name is on the prescription?

It seems odd that your distant cousin would have their prescription filled by your local pharmacy. And if the prescription is in your name, then mailing your medicine to another person, possibly in a different state (since they’re ‘distant’) doesn’t sound like the smartest, most legal, idea.

Are these Copaxone pre-filled syringes? According to thisthey should be stored at 36-46F (2-8C), and should not be frozen. The syringes can also be stored for up to a month at room temperature.

If they are the syringes, I would definitely not ship them in dry ice. If anything, I would be more concerned about freezing weather.

You may not want to even try to ship it. From here:

Prescription medications may only be mailed by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registered distributors. Similar regulations apply to some over-the-counter medications.