When you first hear the word “repackaged” you may think it means reusing medications. This is not the case at all. In fact, repackaging medication is one of the safest ways to provide patients with the safest prescription.
Repackaged medication simply means a medication is taken from its original packaging and placed into a smaller, safer and simpler type of packaging. Repackaging medication often separates it into individual doses, making it easy for the patient to keep on track with their medication schedule.
The simple description of the process of repackaging medication includes receiving, specifications, client approval, production, quality control, shipping, and delivery. Sounds simple, right? Not hardly.
In fact, there are more detailed steps within these steps taken at each stage of the repackaging medication process to make sure the patient receives the highest quality product.
Additional steps include environmental testing, labeling, securing controlled substances, and keeping good records throughout the process.
These are discussed in more detail below.
Repackaged medicines are stored and packaged in a clean, safe environment. The rooms must be temperature controlled and have added security to protect the medicines. Monitoring is controlled with the use of state of the art computerized technology.
Medicines must be tested at this point to ensure they are of the same quality as they were when created at the manufacturing facility.
Repackaging medication facilities are held to higher standards than pharmacies. How often do you see pharmacists cleaning their counter tops when filling prescriptions? Germs transferred from a pharmacist’s counter to a medicine can cause adverse reactions.
Labeling and Documentation
The new container must contain specific labeling information. The label must state accurate drug names, dosage, instructions, and who to contact in case of emergency. The manufacturer information should also be included.
The physician will place additional information to include your practice contact information, date of dispensing and any other warnings for the client.
Keeping good records is required. Repackaging medication companies must keep quality records for at least one year after the date of being repackaged.
Records must include the date of repackaging medication, prescription name, physician who will be dispensing the medicine, and drug name. The strength of the drug must be listed, as well as the quantity. These steps must be verified and signed by an authority figure in the repackaging company.
Extra Security Steps for Controlled Substances
Repackaging of controlled substances makes them safer for you, the physician, and for the patient. Controlled substances, and all other repackaged medicines, are coded and labeled. Meaning, they are traceable all the way back to the manufacturer.
This provides all people involved with a security 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.
Passes Regulatory FDA Inspections
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) evaluates everything from the closure system of repackaging medication to all areas of the facility in which repackaging takes place.
It is the job of the FDA to make sure the medicine being repackaged maintains its effectiveness and sterility after placed in the new package. They make sure the expiration date is correct and that the medicines will not be exposed to unstable lighting and temperatures.
Repackaging companies will also need to pass evaluations by the Good Manufacturing Practices and state laws.
Additional Repackaging Processes Upon Request
Physicians who dispense medication can request additional information on the drugs being repackaged. Information on recalls and reports showing exactly how sterile the machines and facility are when in production.
Repackaging companies should also be able to provide custom batching services, custom software to help physicians process and order more efficiently, and custom bar coding or serialization.
Who Can Benefit from Repackaging Medication
Both you and your patients are the major benefactors of repackaged medications. For you, a repackaging medication company can supply you with exact doses in a timely manner and within a lower budget. Good repackaging companies can easily adapt to making changes or fixing errors.
You and your patients can also receive the benefits of lower costs. Because you are dealing directly with the repackager, and because you only need to purchase an exact amount of medications, you can save money.
Repackagers provide consistent service, around the clock. They are accessible to answer questions you may have. They can help you manage inventory and rush orders when needed. Furthermore, because safety is improved, law suits your practice could face is reduced.
With such streamlined processes, you will find it easy to manage your inventory and process refills. And since you can order a smaller number at a time, the number of wasted medicines is reduced.
Patients will show improved health outcomes due to improved compliance. Patients will be more satisfied due to the cost and time you are saving them. This will make them loyal to you and your practice.
The repackaging process involves many steps, all of which are important to the process. Some steps may seem greater than others, but they are equally vital. If one step is skipped or missed, it can affect the entire process.
Picking the right repackaging medication company is the step you can take to make sure your patients receive the safest, most effective product.
To choose the best, make sure they meet your budget, your timelines, and your quality. Make sure they accessible and available to you when you need them. Don’t go with the lowest costing facility. This may mean they are not financially sound.
You want a repackaging medication company that does not have money problems and more likely to take short cuts to save costs.
Check references of the company and read their reviews. A good company will eagerly provide you with contact information for references. Make the calls. Receiving feedback from other customers is one of the best tactics to help you make a final decision.
After making these efforts, you will find the right company for you and your patients.