Because you care so much for your patients and their overall health, you would be devastated to learn that a medication you prescribed did them harm. They weren’t harmed because of anything you did. They weren’t harmed by anything the patient did. Instead, they were harmed by the medication they received at the pharmacy. Incidents like this do happen. And with the increasing numbers of patients who need medication, the more errors are likely to occur without additional medication quality control.
Common Medication Errors in Pharmacies
Pharmacists never intentionally make medication errors. They are accidents. These accidents include getting similar looking medications mixed up. Meaning, the patient receives a medicine that resembles their own medication in appearance, but not ingredients.
Another example of an error is when patients are accidentally given someone else’s prescription. Furthermore, giving a patient the wrong dose of the right medicine is more common than you think.
All these errors can be fatal.
Accidents such as these have prompted the creation of new packaging formats with better medication quality control. Repackaged medication is becoming very popular.
What is Quality Control of Repackaged Medicine?
Repackaged medications mean a manufacturer’s supply of medications are sent in bulk to a packaging facility and then are transferred into smaller containers or packages to make it easier for a patient to use.
Repackaging companies purchase medicines in bulk. They then use more convenient and safe packaging to provide more structured doses.
Some packages are made for unit dosing. Meaning, one pill is accessible at a time. The packaging is labeled so the patient does not get confused as to when they are supposed to take their medicine.
When a company does everything it can to make sure a product or drug is in top quality condition, they are practicing medication quality control. They put the drug through processes and experiments to make sure errors are non-existent.
Both manufacturers and packagers take extra steps to maintain this quality with each drug, making consistency a reality within a drug class.
Medication quality control involves all the actions a company takes to make sure medicines are pure, safe and compliant with all laws and regulations.
Medication quality control is important for many reasons. Keep reading to find out why quality control is a must when providing medicine for your patients.
There are multiple medication quality control processes involved to ensure safety for patients. Keep reading to find out more about how safety is increased by quality control of repackaged medications.
Medication Quality Control to Prevent Counterfeiting
Counterfeiting mostly happens online, when unethical manufacturers try to pass on illegal forms of medication to consumers. This is a serious crime with severe penalties that will be enforced by the Federal Drug Administration.
Counterfeit drugs usually have the wrong ingredients or the wrong doses of the right ingredients. Both are dangerous for patients.
Repackaged medications undergo medication quality control processes that prevent counterfeiting.
Drugs are registered, making it many times harder for counterfeit criminals to manufacture and deal the product.
Inspectors who participate in extensive training and work for repackaging companies, can identify counterfeit pharmaceuticals. They can then file the right complaints or assist in taking legal actions against the counterfeit criminals.
Medication Quality Control Compliance
Both the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Drug Administration have regulations and medication quality control assurances that repackaging companies must follow.
If repackaging companies fail to adhere to the regulations, they are warned, inspected and eventually shut down and prevented from operating. Repackaging companies are expected to provide documentation and visual proof that all regulations are being met.
The World Health Organization sets forth dispensing guidelines that must be followed by the physician and practice staff. Repackaging companies make it easy for doctors to comply with these guidelines, which cover the entire process from writing the prescription to handing medicine to the patient.
Closure Quality Control
The containers used at the repackaging company must prove to be better than the original container from the manufacturer.
The new containers must abide by moisture, light, vapors, and sealant regulations.
Repackaging companies are experts in containers and the standards set forth for protecting medicine.
All of this means the children and young family members of your patients will not be able to open medication containers that may be left lying around the house. These containers passing medication quality control procedures make it safer for everyone.
So, not only is your patient protected, but so are their children.
Quality Control of Narcotics
Controlled substances are being abused daily by patients, even some of your patients. They overtake their medication, they sell them on the street or trade them for their drug of choice.
Controlled substances are also abused by manufacturers who want to use them for illegal purposes.
Repackaging of narcotics and other controlled substances has very strict medication quality control processes. Controlled substances are coded and labeled. Meaning, they are traceable all the way back to the manufacturer.
This provides you and your patients with the reassurance that if a medication is stolen or misused, it can be tracked to verify where the medicine originated and for whom or what it was intended.
Environmental Quality Control
Repackaging facilities must follow strict guidelines when it comes to keeping their environment clean. Pharmacies are not held to the standards repackaging facilities are required to follow. From room temperature to how often and with what counters are cleaned.
It makes you wonder just how often busy pharmacists take the time to clean their sorting and compounding counters during a day. Germs transfer from one site to another, from one medication to another.
Repackaging medications prevents this from happening due to the medication quality control environmental safety measures that must be followed.
In addition to these measures, quality control of repackaging facilities includes security tactics including cameras and personnel. Monitoring is controlled with the use of state of the art computerized technology.
Because of the many medication quality control processes of repackaging facilities, you can feel confident prescribing repackaged medication to your patients because they go above and beyond ordinary standards.