Choosing the Right Pharmacy Fridge for Your Dispensary

How to choose a pharmacy fridge graphic by CoolMed that shows a female pharmacist picking medication from a shelf

Finding the right pharmacy fridge is crucial for keeping medicines and vaccines safe and effective. 

Whether you need a vaccine fridge, drug fridge, or medical fridge, it’s important to think about the points below when reviewing your pharmacy refrigeration needs. In this guide, we’ll help you understand how to choose the right pharmacy fridge for your dispensary.

Why Pharmacy Refrigeration Matters

Medical refrigeration is critical in preserving the potency and quality of life-saving medications and vaccines. A reliable pharmacy fridge keeps medications within their specified range (between +2OC and +8OC also known as the ‘cold chain’) and protects them from fluctuations in temperature, ensuring their effectiveness and reducing the risk of spoilage.

By choosing a reliable pharmacy fridge, you can protect your supplies and make sure they work as intended. So, here are 8 key factors to consider when choosing a pharmacy fridge for your dispensary, allowing you to make an informed buying decision.

1. Temperature Control Features

One of the primary functions of a pharmacy fridge is to maintain a consistent temperature that aligns with the storage requirements of medications. Look for a pharmacy fridge that has precise temperature controls to prevent fluctuations.

At CoolMed, all our pharmacy fridges are supplied with an in-built iCool temperature probe that accurately monitors and stabilises drug temperatures. 

2. Storage Capacity & Organisation

Think about how much space you need for medicines and vaccines to determine the appropriate capacity for your pharmacy fridge. Consider factors such as the number and types of medications you handle, storage requirements for vaccines, and projected growth in your dispensary’s operations. 

At CoolMed we offer tabletop pharmacy fridges, undercounter pharmacy fridges, and freestanding pharmacy fridges. All are supplied with adjustable shelves to accommodate a range of different medical products.

3. Compliance with Regulations

MHRA regulations state that vaccines and other temperature sensitive pharmaceutical products must be stored in a “specialised refrigerator” and not a domestic fridge. These fridges must be lockable, feature a unique serial number, and be serviced yearly, all of which are offered with the CoolMed pharmacy fridge range.

In order to ensure accurate temperature control, MHRA regulations also state: “At least one maximum-minimum thermometer that is independent of mains power should be used (as well as any integrated thermometer), so temperatures can be measured in the event of electricity loss.”

That being said, all CoolMed pharmacy fridges are supplied with a battery backup powered temperature controller as a way of recording temperature readings in the event of a power outage. As mains power isn’t needed to control and display fridge temperatures, purchasing an independent data logger isn’t required.

4. Temperature Alarms

Temperature control within pharmacy fridges is essential, but it’s equally as important to be alerted promptly if there is a temperature deviation. Look for a pharmacy fridge equipped with alarms that notify you in real time when there’s a significant temperature change. 

At CoolMed, all our pharmacy fridges feature audible and visual alarms that sound in the event of a power failure, if the refrigerator door is left open, or if the internal fridge temperature fluctuates for any other reason.

5. Energy Efficiency

Choosing an energy-efficient fridge helps reduce operating costs in the long run. 

Consider buying a glass door pharmacy fridge if energy consumption is of particular importance to you. Glass door refrigerators maintain more stable internal temperatures as practitioners don’t have to open the door as often to look for stock. This helps to reduce energy costs.

Pharmacy fridges with efficient compressors and LED lighting will also save you money compared to other models. All CoolMed pharmacy fridges feature LED energy-efficient lighting as standard. 

Pharmacy fridges are not given energy ratings, but are usually more efficient than domestic fridges. For example, our medium glass door pharmacy fridge uses 328.5 kW of electricity per year, whereas a typical domestic fridge uses 408 kW of electricity per year.

6. Security Features

Pharmacies often handle controlled substances and medications with a high potential for abuse, making security an important consideration. 

Select a pharmacy fridge with security features to prevent unauthorised access. At CoolMed all our pharmacy fridges are supplied with robust door locks as standard. We also offer the option of upgrading to a keyless combination lock to further protect sensitive medications.

7. Maintenance & Service Support

A reliable pharmacy fridge supplier should offer excellent maintenance and service support. 

Ensure that the company you choose provides prompt customer service, warranties, and access to qualified technicians for repairs and routine maintenance. 

All CoolMed pharmacy fridges are supplied with a 5-year parts and labour warranty as standard, this can be extended by a further 2 years for £99. We also have our own technicians available to carry out regular maintenance and calibration of your pharmacy fridge. This ensures optimal performance and accurate temperature control.

By taking care of your equipment and addressing any issues promptly, you can maintain the reliability and functionality of your pharmacy fridge for many, many years.

8. Quick & Reliable Delivery

By choosing a pharmacy fridge supplier that offers quick delivery, you can expect minimal disruptions to your operations and urgent product replacements to be delivered promptly.

At CoolMed we offer a free 48-hour delivery service as standard, with next-day services also available for the majority of UK postcodes. Our delivery service is flexible and adaptable in order to ensure the safety and satisfaction of your patients.

More information about our delivery options can be found here:

Contact Us

If you’d like to speak to us about our range of high-quality pharmacy fridges, or would like more information on how to choose the correct fridge for your pharmacy, please call us on 0161 772 5666, or email us at