For many hospitals, in-house repackaging often seems like the most cost-effective way to package drugs into unit-dose. Unfortunately, with limited resources, hospital pharmacies don’t always have the time needed to focus on packaging. To offset staff time spent on packaging, many pharmacies purchase whatever is available in commercial unit-dose. Unfortunately, many of those unit-dose purchases have a significant cost premium versus bulk bottles.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) developed USP General Chapter <800> to better protect all workers, patients and general public who may potentially come in contact with hazardous drugs. Many hospitals are keeping this top of mind as they try to understand how these requirements will impact their pharmacy operations. If your hospital pharmacy currently repackages hazardous drugs in-house, you may need to implement new steps and process changes to be compliant with USP <800> once it becomes official (tentatively December 2019).