Insulated Packaging Supplies for Pharmaceuticals

IPC’s range of insulated box liners ensures diagnostic reagents, medical devices, blood samples, insulin, and other pharmaceutical and medical products are protected from heat and humidity during shipment. Here are some of the insulated packaging materials we recommend for shipping pharmaceuticals.


CelluLiner is a paper-based insulated packaging product that is ideal for room-temperature pharmaceutical shipments or shorter transit shipments of products requiring refrigerated conditions.

As a paper-based product, it is curbside recyclable making it ideal for direct-to-consumer deliveries.


PopupLiner provides advanced thermal protection for pharmaceutical products that must maintain refrigerated or frozen temperatures for longer shipping durations.

The box liners arrived in a compressed format using IPC’s patented technology which, compared to coolers, provides a 75 percent saving in space and storage.

2-8ºC Pre-Qualified Insulated Shipper

These pharmaceutical shippers utilize the insulating technology of PopupLiner but it also comes with phase change materials, payload cartons, and conditioning and pack-out instructions. Everything you need to ship pharmaceutical products between 2ºC and 8ºC.


IPC offers phase change material (PCM) packs that help maintain the desired temperature ranges for the majority of pharmaceutical products for long durations.

Pharmaceuticals and other medical products have very particular temperature and humidity requirements that must be maintained if they are to remain safe and effective.

Exposure to temperatures or humidity beyond a narrow range, even for short periods, can render an entire batch of prescription drugs, vaccines, and medications useless and potentially dangerous.

While some spoilage is inevitable when shipping pharmaceuticals, much of this waste would be entirely preventable with the use of effective insulated packaging.

There are other important factors at play as well though. So, in this guide, we’ll discuss the best practices for shipping pharmaceuticals before considering some of the most effective insulated packaging solutions for shipping pharmaceuticals.

Best practices for shipping pharmaceuticals

To safely transport these life-saving products to hospitals, pharmacies, medical companies, laboratories, or directly to the consumer, it is crucial to control their temperature exposure throughout the entire shipping duration.

Regulatory authorities dictate, by law, the required temperature range for many pharmaceutical and medical products, including pills, capsules, vaccines, blood samples and diagnostic reagents.

To ensure optimal pharmaceutical insulation for such products, here are some of the best practices to follow.

1. Use effective insulated packaging

The first line of defense to maintain the desired temperature range is effective insulated packaging.

The most effective type of insulated packaging to use depends on the pharmaceutical or medical product you are shipping.

Many over-the-counter (OTC) medicines must be kept at room temperature (between 20°C and 25°C). The appropriate insulated packaging solutions for shipping medicines such as these include paper-based products that also have the advantage of curbside recyclability.

Other products, such as biopharmaceutical samples and certain medications, must be kept at refrigerated temperatures between 2°C and 8ºC, while others must be stored at 5°C precisely.

The most effective insulated packaging solutions for shipping pharmaceuticals of these sorts are made with flexible polyurethane foam insulators encased in metalized sleeves which are used to line boxes.

Thermal insulated pharmaceutical packaging boxes such as these can protect products requiring refrigerated temperatures for transit durations that exceed 72 hours.

View our recommended insulated pharmaceutical packaging below.

insulated medical packaging

2. Add sufficient refrigerants for additional protection

To complement the effectiveness of thermal insulated pharmaceutical packaging boxes, use refrigerants inside the pharmaceutical shipping containers.

Cold packs and/or dry ice allow you to maintain cold temperatures for even longer periods. The quantity required to achieve this depends on the following:

  • Pharmaceutical products’ weight and dimensions
  • Caliber of the insulation
  • Ambient temperatures
  • Shipping duration
refrigerants for pharmaceutical shipments

3. Take expected shipping duration into account

Many companies receiving pharmaceutical products presume they must order overnight shipping to ensure the integrity of the goods.

With effective insulated packaging and the appropriate quantity of refrigerants, however, it is possible to protect pharmaceutical shipments for periods longer than 72 hours.

Even vaccines that require extremely cold temperatures of -20°C can be protected for up to 48 hours if stored in polyurethane-based insulated packaging alongside dry ice.

However, transit durations longer than these are not recommended, so you must ensure your shipments will arrive at their final destination within these periods.

pharmaceutical shipping duration

Pharmaceutical Shipping FAQ

Can you mail pharmaceutical products directly to the consumer?

Yes. Increasingly, pharmacies and medication providers are offering the option of home delivery for many pharmaceutical products. This poses no problem so long as the best practices for shipping pharmaceuticals are followed.

Can you ship pharmaceuticals without a cooler?

Yes. For pharmaceutical products that require temperatures between 2°C and 8°C, we recommend PopupLiner, which is a polyurethane-based insulating material that provides extreme thermal protection.

It is also effective for pharmaceutical products that require frozen temperatures when used alongside dry ice.

Can you ship pharmaceuticals safely over long shipping durations?

Yes, it is possible to ship many pharmaceutical products safely for transit durations that exceed 72 hours.

For these types of shipments, the use of dry ice and/or cold packs is required for products that need refrigerated or frozen temperatures.

What temperature should pharmaceutical products be delivered at?

This depends on the product in question. Some, such as certain capsules, require room temperature, while others, such as vaccines, require -20°C.

To comply with regulatory authorities and safeguard the integrity of your products, you need to ensure you maintain the required temperature range throughout the entire shipping duration.

Case Study

The following case study demonstrates how we were able to help a large pharmacy retailer with locations in several states maintain two different temperatures for their products during transit through the use of PopupLiner.