As a physician, you would never want to give your patient a medicine that could possibly harm them. But did you know when you send your patients to pharmacies, there are chances for medication errors. These errors happen every day and some are even fatal.
Pharmacist errors can happen when the compounding table is not cleaned often enough. Residue from one drug can be passed onto another, changing its makeup and effect. Germs can also transfer to a medicine if a pharmacist or pharmacy technician has not kept proper hygiene.
On top of that, many sick patients enter a pharmacy every hour. From coughing to sneezing, germs spread and are carried through the air. Particles can land on medicines being compounded if they are not protected.
Those errors are related to cleanliness. Other errors occur based on mistaking one medicine for another similar looking medicine. Or, the pharmacist misreading your instructions and giving the patient the wrong medicine, dose information, or interaction warnings.
There is a way you can avoid your patients suffering from any of these errors. You can use prepackaged medications to supply your patients with the best product that is held to extremely strict standards. These standards give you comfort, knowing your patients will be safe.
Below are some of the strict standards prepackaging companies are required to follow.
Manufacturing facilities or laboratories must do a lot of testing. And then they must test their testing methods. If the way they test the quality of the drugs they produce is not giving them the answers needed, they must improve it.
The building and rooms where any drug product will be held, processed or packaged endures strict scrutiny by the FDA. The size and location of the building are just as important as maintenance and operations. They are broken down for inspection purposes as internal and external environments.
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) sets forth Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) that all laboratories must follow to ensure safety when dealing with pharmaceuticals. These are the minimum requirements to pass inspection.
Standards such as this make prepackaged medication dispensing the best option. It ensures everything from production to dispensing is superior.
Packaging and Labeling Standards
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.
Controlled substances must be contained in secure packaging to avoid contamination of the medicine. Packaging much also be child-resistant to avoid any potential accidents. Controlled substances labels must be detailed and list the patient’s name, address; phone number and reason for use.
They must also list potential hazards, warnings and the prescribing doctor’s name.
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.
Containers must abide by moisture, light, vapors, and sealant regulations.
Prepackaging 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 quality control procedures make it safer for everyone.
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.
This allows you to feel more confident with dispensing the medicine directly to your patients. You will be able to see firsthand that the individual packages are intact, secure and tamper resistant.
Standards for Preventing Drug Interactions
Pharmacists rarely take the time to talk to patients about drug interactions. In fact, an undercover investigation by the news show 20/20 revealed that 70 percent of the pharmacies they visited did not take the time to tell patients about potentially harmful interactions.
Some of the consequences of drug interactions can be allergic reactions, physical and mental health issues, and even death. Side effects can also be very different when two drugs are not meant to be mixed.
Educating your patients is a necessary step in helping them reach positive outcomes. If you are simply prescribing without educating, you are not fulfilling your duties completely. Patients need to know why you are prescribing medicines. This helps them remain compliant.
Prepackaged medication programs come with the best software technology. This software helps you provide the highest quality educational material to help you review with your patients.
Controlled Substances Standards
Controlled substances are being abused daily by patients, possibly even some of your patients.
Prepackaging of narcotics and other controlled substances has very strict 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.
Standards 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.
Prepackaged medications undergo quality control processes that prevent counterfeiting.
A Final Thought
Medical malpractice lawsuits happen every day, even when the physician has a great reputation. There are eager people who want to file negligence claims against physicians, even when the doctor has done everything right.
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. Working with prepackaging companies, ensures quality and safety of medicines.