Archives for March 2019

Developing a Robust Compounding Strategy

Developing an effective compounding strategy is critical to ensuring patients have access to properly compounded medications, but because each organization’s needs differ, a one-size-fits-all solution cannot be applied to every hospital. A careful evaluation of the institution’s requirements, the available infrastructure for compounding medications in-house, and any registered 503B compounding facilities in the vicinity with capacity to serve the hospital, is necessary to identify an effective strategy.

Revised 503B Guidance for Outsourcing Compounders

Mortar pharmacy

According to the Federal Register Notice that announced the guidance revision (here), the FDA notes that “This revised draft guidance reflects the FDA’s intent to recognize the differences between outsourcing facilities and conventional drug manufacturers and to tailor CGMP requirements to the nature of the specific compounding operations conducted by outsourcing facilities while maintaining the minimum standards necessary to protect patients from the risks of contaminated or otherwise substandard drug products.” The FR Notice also provides additional background on its thinking in making the revisions to the draft guidance.

Workplace Hazards that USP <800> could Prevent

The degree of danger that pharmacy workers are subject to depends on the kind of pharmacy they work in and its location. Pharmacists can be employed in community-, retail-, and hospital-based pharmacies, among others. Each of these workplace settings bring different hazards that need to be addressed to prevent harm.

1. Biological Hazards
Contact with patients and the public exposes pharmacy staff to biological hazards, as will contaminants found in food, water, and the ventilation system. The immunization of workers provides a first line of defense when interacting with patients.

Other measures should also be put into place, including the restriction of access to authorized personnel only, implementation of safe work procedures, and use of personal protective equipment, such as eye protection, gloves, and respiratory protection.

Care should not only be exercised on the medication contained within a pharmacy; the building itself should also be given attention, particularly the ventilation system. Regular maintenance reduces the risk of contamination.