Hospital pharmacies to receive upgrades to bring them in line drug-handling standards

April 13, 2019

Two local hospital pharmacies are getting upgraded to comply with standards regarding the sterility and handling of drugs, according to permits issued by the city.

The work totals more than $1.5 million.

The pharmacies at Holy Family Hospital and Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center are being remodeled and upgraded to meet United States Pharmacopeia standards regarding the sterile preparation of compounds and the handling of hazardous drugs.

The work at Holy Family is estimated to cost $847,500. Sacred Heart’s upgrades will run $657,500.

The USP is a nonprofit organization that publishes an annual compendium of drug information that establishes standards for, among other things, medicines and food ingredients. Its standards are used by regulatory agencies and manufacturers, and ensure quality, consistency, purity and strength of products.

Chapter 797 of the compendium, which deals with sterile preparations of compounds, describes the “responsibilities of compounding personnel, training, facilities, environmental monitoring and storage and testing of finished preparations,” according to USP’s website. The chapter was recently updated.

Chapter 800 deals with the safe handling of hazardous drugs. It also was recently updated in conjunction with the chapter dealing with sterile preparation.

According to the USP, the chapters were updated concurrently to “align these standards, providing a unified approach to quality compounding.” The updates will become official on Dec. 1, leading to the local pharmacy upgrades.

The work on both pharmacies is being done by Bouten Construction, of Spokane.