Preparing for Summer: Best Practices and Checklists for Temperature Mapping in Pharma 

With the summer season on the horizon, pharmaceutical companies face the annual challenge of ensuring their temperature-sensitive products remain within specified conditions despite the heat. Temperature fluctuations during this time can significantly impact product integrity, efficacy, and safety. This blog provides a comprehensive guide on preparing your temperature mapping for the summer, including best practices and a handy checklist to ensure you are summer ready. 

Understanding the Risks 

The summer months can introduce a range of temperature control challenges, from elevated ambient temperatures affecting storage facilities to the logistics of transporting products under intense heat. Recognizing these risks is the first step in effective preparation. 

Best Practices for Summer Preparation 

  • Conduct Thorough Risk Assessments: Review past summer data and perform risk assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities in your storage and transportation processes. Consider both direct (e.g., cooling system failures) and indirect (e.g., power outages affecting climate control) risks. 
    Conduct Temperature Mapping: If no temperature mapping studies have been conducted during summer conditions previously, it is advisable to undertake a comprehensive temperature study in alignment with industry guidelines, such as WHO Annex 9 and ISPE standards. 
  • Enhance Your Monitoring Systems: Ensure your temperature monitoring systems are equipped with real-time alerting capabilities to promptly address any deviations. Investing in advanced technologies like IoT sensors can offer more granular insights into temperature fluctuations. 
  • Verify System Calibrations: Before the summer begins, ensure all temperature monitoring equipment is in calibration to guarantee accurate readings. Schedule regular check-ups throughout the season to maintain calibration integrity. 
  • Optimize Storage Configurations: Utilize data from temperature mapping studies to adjust the placement of products within storage areas. Products more sensitive to temperature variations should be stored in the most stable locations. 
  • Review and Update SOPs: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) related to temperature control should be reviewed and updated to include summer-specific guidelines. Ensure all staff are trained on these updated SOPs. 
  • Prepare for Contingencies: Develop comprehensive contingency plans for potential summer-related issues, including backup cooling systems, alternative storage options, and emergency response strategies. 
  • Engage with Logistics Partners: Communicate with logistics and transportation partners to understand their summer preparedness measures and ensure they align with your temperature control requirements. 

Summer-Ready Checklist

To assist in your preparation, here is a checklist to ensure your temperature mapping and monitoring systems are set for the summer: 

  • Conduct a pre-summer risk assessment focusing on temperature control vulnerabilities. 
  • Ensure all temperature monitoring devices are in calibration. 
  • Update SOPs with summer-specific temperature control procedures. 
  • Train staff in summer temperature control best practices and emergency procedures. 
  • Verify real-time temperature monitoring and alerting systems are operational and alerts and alarms are set appropriately. 
  • Optimize product placement within storage areas based on temperature stability data, avoiding as much as possible potential heat sources such as exterior doors, walls, windows. 
  • Secure backup cooling systems and verify their operational readiness. 
  • Establish a clear communication plan with logistics and transportation partners for summer operations. 
  • Prepare comprehensive contingency plans for dealing with temperature excursions. 
  • Schedule regular check-ins throughout the summer to review temperature control performance and adjust strategies as needed. 


Preparing for the summer season requires careful planning, a deep understanding of potential temperature control challenges, and proactive measures to mitigate risks. By following the best practices and utilizing the provided checklist, pharmaceutical companies can ensure their products remain protected from the heat, maintaining their quality and compliance with regulatory standards. Remember, the goal is not just to react to temperature excursions but to prevent them from happening, ensuring patient safety and product efficacy. 

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