You want the best for your patients. You want to provide them with the best service, the best care, the best experience when they visit your practice. Don’t you also want to give them the best medication?
As you know, medication can be harmful in certain scenarios. Negative interactions can occur, as well as medication errors. The quality of medication can also be harmful if not protected. For instance, cross contamination can occur at a pharmacy if a tech or pharmacist does not use cleanly methods when compounding or sorting.
Quality of medication can also be affected if stored in the wrong temperature or setting.
There is one way you can maintain the highest quality medication and that is through the use of prepackaging.
What is Prepackaging?
Prepackaged medication sounds simple, just like its name implies, it arrives at your office already in a package. This is true, but there are more complexities, making it the safest way to dispense medications.
Pharmaceutical medications that are prepackaged are highly regulated at every level of the government. Many processes and procedures must be followed to ensure safety for the patient.
Prepackaging does not just include the product given to the patient. Prepackaged includes making the medicine to distributing the medicine, and everything in between. It includes the type of packaging to temperature and labeling.
Prepackaging can even include how the products are presented and how they are protected before, during and after shipping.
Why is Quality Important?
The last thing you want to experience is backlash over medication errors from your patient. Or worse, a lawsuit accusing you of malpractice.
If patients are given medicines that have the wrong ingredients, serious health hazards could occur. This could lead to malpractice or liability issues for your practice. The drug manufacturer could also be held responsible. Therefore many, including prepackaged companies, take extra steps to ensure the quality of their medicines.
Quality involves many steps that focus on control and assurance, both of which can give you confidence in the medication to treat your patient.
Both manufacturers and packagers take extra steps to maintain this quality with each drug, making consistency a reality within a drug class.
Quality control involves all the actions a company takes to make sure medicines are pure, safe and compliant with all laws and regulations.
Quality control and quality assurance are different, yet both are necessary when it comes to manufacturing and supplying medications.
Quality assurance includes the processes and procedures that are implemented to assess the operations associated with the production of a medicine.
Both quality assurance and quality control ensure medications are at their most effective and safest state when they reach the patient.
Quality of Labeling and Identification
Believe it or not, many of your patients do not remember your instructions on how to take their prescriptions. By the time they get home from their office visit, they have forgotten your exact statements. Labeling is key to successful use.
Correct labeling is important in all medication production, especially prepackaged. The label, even though small, contains a large amount of information. Prepackaging facilities know just how vital this information can be.
Name of the physician, brand name of the drug, and patient name are three pieces of information on a label. Other pieces include drug expiration date, safety warnings such as “may cause drowsiness”, and instructions on how to take the medicine.
Some medicines need to be taken with food, while others need to be taken on an empty stomach. Having these instructions available can determine the effectiveness of the medicine.
Labels will also note if refills are available and if so, how many. It will have contact information for the doctor and an account number or serial number that can be traced back to the prescription ordered.
Quality of Production
You would be devastated to learn your medications were produced in an unclean environment, or that the production staff handling your patients’ medicines had the stomach flu yesterday. How medicines are produced must be of the highest priority.
The steps taken to ensure the medicine is properly produced can seem extreme to some. However, it should also give comfort to physicians wanting to make sure the medicines they order are prepared safely and securely.
There are over 100 steps involved in the production of prepackaged medicines. DEA and FDA guidelines are strictly followed when creating medicines to be used by physicians who are dispensing at point of care.
This means the facility is clean, sterile and well protected.
Quality of Strength
Medicines are susceptible to degradation. To prevent this and any loss of potency, prepackaged companies do whatever they can to make sure packaging provides adequate barriers to the drugs but are also easy to use by the patient.
Companies use the best materials to protect drugs while also keeping the cost reduced. They ensure both primary and secondary packaging meets the standards set forth by governmental agencies.
If the strength of a medication is jeopardized, your patients’ health outcomes can suffer. Prepackaged medications make it easy to determine how effective a medicine will be. The best use dates are clearly marked, as well as instructions on how to store medicine to maintain effectiveness.
Only qualified and certified medical or pharmaceutical professionals can distribute medicines to patients. This is for the safety of both the physician and the patient.
Prepackaging companies provide everything a physician needs to properly store and distribute medicines to their patients. Doctors are given lock storage boxes that protect the medicines until it is time to distribute.
Because you are the one dispensing the medicines to your patients, you are in control of the quality of care they receive. Prepackaging allows you to ensure they receive the best evaluation to determine what medication is needed. You choose the best form of medication, either liquid, capsule, injection or cream.
Furthermore, you choose the highest quality brand and how they receive the medication. Prepackaging makes you the best source for maintaining medication quality.