June 1st of 2019 was the final update to the two-and-a-half-year regulation called USP <800>, meaning these standards will be required starting December 1st of this year in all pharmaceutical facilities across the nation.
This standard is required in order to protect employees of medical facilities from any Hazardous Drugs [HDs] and will be the first standard to not only change the handling of pharmaceuticals for human medical facilities, but animal hospitals as well. Extensive research and studies have documented, with evidence, the aftereffects of exposure to hazardous drugs for a prolong duration or without proper protection.
These safety measurements can require millions of dollars of facility and equipment upgrades. Although the deadline is six months away, being reactive to such standards, which can take many years to accomplish, could cause pharmaceutical operations to shut down, relocate, or outsource medication. Financial obligations of this size should be accounted for in an organization’s annual capital improvement plan, but facilities large and small not only lack the budget but are uneducated and unsure it will applies to them. The lack of knowledge extends throughout the animal healthcare industry, leaving care workers uninformed and unaware.
The USP <800> standards address more than the compounding of drugs, but all handling of Hazardous drugs (HDs) including but not limited to receipt, storage, compounding, dispensing, administration and disposal. It is crucial to understand that HDs are not just chemo drugs but have a larger scope inclusive of non-antineoplastic and reproductive risk only drugs as well.
With our nation-wide Veterinary experience implementing these standards at VCA and Blue Pearl animal hospitals, as well as a committed staff who had dedicated extensive time and research into USP <800>, we can help you identify the necessary measures required for your facility to be compliant with the new USP standards.