OPTEL GROUP, a global provider of traceability systems for the pharmaceutical, medical device, and healthcare industries, announced that it has signed an agreement to pilot OPTEL’s Certa decommissioning solution at Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) to enable the world-renowned institution to comply with the European Union’s Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD).
This legislation states that, by February 9, 2019, European hospitals and retail pharmacies will be required to verify and decommission all prescription medications using their unique identifier before distributing them to patients.
This pilot project has larger implications for the healthcare industry because it will help define how hospital management teams can use this requirement to improve patient safety. In addition, it will be a concrete example of how this legislative change affects hospital pharmacy operations and how these changes can improve operational efficiency roadmaps.
“This is a massive opportunity to streamline processes and attain our ultimate goal of closed-loop medication management. It’s a key step in ensuring that we meet the WHO’s Third Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm and that patients are given the safest possible care,” says Bhulesh Vadher, Clinical Director of Pharmacy & Medicines Management at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Bernard Naughton, a clinical pharmacist and researcher of falsified and counterfeit drugs, agrees, adding, “There are a number of different actions that need to be aligned to meet the February 2019 FMD deadline; however, the solutions and processes implemented for FMD compliance will also present great benefits both in terms of workflow operations and patient safety.”
The project builds upon the evidence recently published by Naughton et al. in the BMJ OPEN journal and is significant in that it can act as a case study to help identify, implement and validate the most effective way to decommission the high volume of medications that go in and out of hospital pharmacies on an annual basis in a safe and simple manner.
“Legislations like these represent a turning point in the healthcare industry, and this project can help evaluate user adoption and determine best practices for compliance in real-world scenarios,” says Korina Fischer, Vice-President, Healthcare at OPTEL GROUP.