In today’s pharmaceutical industry, the use of a compounding pharmacy is increasingly becoming popular. This unique facility is intended to mix and formulate medications based on the prescriber’s instructions for a specific patient. This process of mixing and formulation is known as compounding.
Typically, compounding is essential when a medication approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) isn’t readily available or suitable for the management and treatment of a specific medical condition. However, the process depends on the designation. Some compounding pharmacies are only allowed to compound drugs for individual patient use, while others may compound medications in bulk for healthcare facilities. This is where 503B outsourcing facilities come into play.
If you haven’t heard of this term before, keep reading this article to learn more about 503B outsourcing facilities.
503B Outsourcing Facilities: What Are They?
Primarily, 503B outsourcing facilities are allowed to manufacture large batches of medications for the office use of healthcare facilities. Under this compounding designation, these facilities don’t need to employ licensed pharmacists to perform the compounding process with or without prescriptions from individual patients. Also, these pharmacies are also beneficial in terms of lower manufacturing costs and bigger savings passed onto the customers.
On the other hand, it’s important to keep in mind that there are requirements to comply in order to qualify as a drug compounder under this outsourcing facility. These can include:
- Official registration as an outsourcing facility – This means the drug compounder should register with the FDA and present information, including the drugs to be compounded and if they do the compounding in large batches. The registration should be done every year to avoid problems. After the registration, the FDA will inspect the facility to ensure the standards set forth by the FD&C Act are met.
- Proper engagement in the process of compounding sterile drugs – This means the outsourcing facility should be able to provide relevant information that shows their engagement in the compounding sterile preparations. These can include legal and regulatory considerations, physical facilities and equipment requirements, and the like.
- Compliance with all the requirements set forth by section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act – This means that 503B outsourcing facilities are expected to follow the standards throughout the drug compounding process. These standards are known as Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements.
As you can see, there are many considerations to take before 503B outsourcing pharmacies can operate legally. But if you want to better understand the rationale behind these facilities and why they’re becoming popular today, you can start by educating yourself about the history of 503 outsourcing.
503B Outsourcing Facilities: What Are the Different Approaches to Consider?
As mentioned, 503B outsourcing facilities should adhere to the cGMP requirements to make sure the compounded drugs meet the quality standards and that it’s safe to buy and use these medicines online once they reach the general population.
Generally, a legitimate 503B outsourcing facility should consider the following processes to ensure the quality and safety of the drug products:
- Rules involved in receiving and releasing sterile and non-sterile ingredients and materials
- Designation of an independent quality unit responsible for ensuring the adherence of the relevant processes
- Monitoring of the facilities and the working environment to reduce the risk of contamination and error
- Personnel training for the workers working in the facility to make sure they maintain good standards of workplace hygiene
- Standard operating procedures to ensure the facility follows consistent methods for drugs compounding
- Process validations to make sure they’re essential for the drugs being compounded
- Equipment calibration and preventive maintenance procedures
The Bottom Line
In a world where personalized medications are becoming essential in getting optimal treatment, drug compounding has become a crucial process of having medicines formulated to meet the patients’ specific needs instead of the mass-produced pharmaceuticals. This is one of the reasons why 503B outsourcing pharmacies have been put in place to guarantee the availability and safety of compounded drugs for healthcare uses.
And by considering the information mentioned above, you’ll have a good idea as to the importance of using these facilities to ensure drug products are safe and compliant with the quality standards.
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