Handling Hazardous Drugs: USP in Pharmacy Practice

Recently, the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) proposed a new General Chapter 800: “Hazardous Drugs: Handling in the Healthcare Settings.” There has been mixed reaction to this proposal across the profession. We will see what the compounding expert committee recommends, but the controversy provides an opportunity to reflect on the role of USP in pharmacy practice.

USP’s The Pharmacopoeia of the United States was first published in 1820. In 1975, USP acquired the National Formulary from the American Pharmaceutical Association, and merged it and Pharmacopoeia into a single publication containing official substances and preparation monographs. USP’s activities have changed greatly since then, but the importance of USP to pharmacy practice is still significant.

Setting preparation standards and providing reference material continue to be important, as reflected in the USP mission statement. USP has attempted a number of ventures that help demonstrate its value to pharmacy practice, including medication error prevention, providing drug information, and setting pharmacy practice standards.

Although USP has an impressive headquarters building and staff in the Washington, DC area, much of its accomplishments are due to its volunteers, who serve as delegates to the USP convention. As with medical organizations, all state pharmacy associations and schools of pharmacy are eligible to send a convention delegate, providing a unique forum for medicine and pharmacy to interact—the value of which many pharmacists may not appreciate. The expert panels primarily use volunteers to accomplish their work, too.

– See more at: http://www.pharmacytimes.com/publications/issue/2014/October2014/Handling-Hazardous-Drugs-USP-in-Pharmacy-Practice?utm_source=GoogleNews&utm_medium=GoogleNews&utm_campaign=PharmacyTimesNews#sthash.CZhTzE1B.dpuf

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