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PharmaScout saves time and money for The Society for Animals in Distress

Upgrading their refrigeration solution from a domestic fridge to a PharmaScout one meant that The Society for Animals in Distress could help more animals with better peace of mind.

Like many organisations that do good, The Society for Animals in Distress (SAID) doesn’t always have the resources to meet its goals. One of their core focuses is to drive access to professional veterinary care in underprivileged communities – and it’s a goal that’s hard to meet without the proper equipment.

The domestic fridge they were using to store veterinary vaccines and medications required constant monitoring and was a very arduous, time-consuming solution to their refrigeration needs for their temperature vulnerable stock. 

Then entered the PharmaScout fridge. We spoke to Ruth Butcher, the CEO of The Society for Animals in Distress, and she shared her experience with us.


“Previously, we were using a domestic fridge. It was a big fridge, and a waste of power to run, especially with the freezer,” explains Ruth, “Essentially when the SA Veterinary Council did an inspection, they noted we needed to be monitoring our fridge regularly.”

This lead to a high workload for the already burdened staff and some challenges:

  • Hourly monitoring needed of the fridge’s temperature
  • Human error during the clinic’s busy times, when monitoring hourly was challenging
  • Needing to run the diesel generator solely for the vaccination fridge during South Africa’s rolling black outs
  • Increased costs of the generator and diesel
  • Inability to lock the fridge lead to medications going missing

“We would have to monitor the fridge morning and evening, by putting a physical thermometer in and writing the temperature down hourly between 7am and 4pm, when we are in the office,” says Ruth, “As things get busy, there is room for human error, and with the loadshedding, we run the generator solely for the vaccination fridge, and you can add to that the current price of diesel. It was so erratic.”


The solution was a uniquely designed PharmaScout fridge. This one-of-a-kind refrigerator has been carefully created to meet the exacting requirements of Good Pharmacy Practice and WHO guidelines. 

The fridges made ethical and compliant veterinary care easier for The Society for Animals in Distress with the following features: 

  • Designed to maintain the ideal vaccination and medication temperature range, between 2 – 8 °C
  • Automatic temperature monitoring, designed to keep you compliant
  • Alerts when the fridge temperature adjusts out of this range, via SMS or email, letting you know if the power is off or the door left open
  • Secure locking to keep medications safe, even when the facility isn’t staffed 
  • Unique pull-out shelves that ensure space is optimally used within the fridge, and allow for easy stock rotation, neat packing and easy use
  • Glass doors which allow you to inspect stock


“There is so much less place for human error,” explains Ruth, “The fridge does its own monitoring. You don’t have to spend that much time or thought on it – I and my staff are free to do our own work.”

Other features the team love are the fridge’s clear glass door,  which allows for a view of the stock while keeping the fridge securely locked. Ruth continues, “Secondly, being able to lock the fridge to prevent unauthorised access assists in stock controls. We also love that the fridge is able to be remotely monitored, which provides SAID with the necessary measures to prevent stock loss due to a fault.”


With the SAID team’s time used more effectively, and with compliance guaranteed, Ruth says that the fridge has had a positive impact on their work. 

Ruth explains, “In comparison to previous fridges SAID has used, PharmaScout has reduced temperature fluctuations due to previous units being opened regularly to inspect inside whereas stock levels are now visible from the outside. Aesthetically the PharmaScout is superior to any previous units.” She continues, “The Society for Animals in Distress will recommend the fridge on several factors, the main factor being the remote warning system provided to protect costly pharmaceutical stock.”
With access control, compliance guaranteed, manual monitoring unnecessary, and temperature monitoring possible even when remote, the PharmaScout fridge has provided her team with both a sense of security and knowledge that ethically, they are doing the best work for the vulnerable animals they are helping. 

“The PharmaScout fridge has outweighed all expectations,” says Ruth.

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