Rising Medication Shortages Affect Patient Health
New IACP Tool Helps Evaluate Pharmacies for Needed Compounded Medication Services
HOUSTON (October 5, 2011): As hospital medication shortages continue to increase by the day within the North American healthcare system, the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists (IACP) has developed a new assessment questionnaire to assist hospitals, practitioners and non-compounding pharmacies identify and evaluate compounding pharmacies as they seek alternative sources for medications that currently are in limited to complete shortage status.
IACP’s Compounding Pharmacy Assessment Questionnaire (CPAQ™) provides a comprehensive checklist of what to look for in a compounding pharmacy practice and is based upon United States Pharmacopeia (USP) standards which compounding pharmacists are obligated to follow according to state board of pharmacy regulations or standards of practice. Collaboration between licensed compounding pharmacists and their colleagues in hospitals and institutions is a long-standing solution to back-orders and shortages but the current shortage situation is at a crisis point for many health-systems. The expertise of a compounder with access to APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients – the pure, raw drug ingredient) can mean the difference between continued or initiation of much-needed medicines or an unnecessary delay in patient care.
IACP’s Compounding Pharmacy Assessment Questionnaire (CPAQ™) includes evaluation points in the following areas:
· Regulatory compliance
· Licensing – permits
· Internal controls and quality assurance
· Testing & verification
· Site visits
“Drug shortages have been an ongoing problem for healthcare facilities and the number of drug products that are unavailable due to manufacturer backorders and discontinuation is on the rise,” says, Linda F. McElhiney, PharmD, RPh, FIACP, FASHP, compounding pharmacy operations coordinator, Indiana University Health. “These facilities are often trying to find substitutions for the drug products or alternative treatments and there is often a delay in the patient's treatment. Compounding pharmacies may be able to prepare these medications using bulk active pharmaceutical ingredients; however, it may be difficult for the healthcare pharmacy administrators to know if the compounding pharmacy can provide quality compounded medications to meet their facilities’ needs because they are unfamiliar with the USP standards for compounding sterile and non-sterile preparations. The International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists (IACP) has developed a checklist of standards and criteria to assist the administrators in finding a suitable compounding pharmacy to meet these needs.”
“IACP leadership recently participated in...