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Published Online: Wednesday, August 1, 2007   [ Request Print ]

 

Alliance Will Automate IV Admixture Preparation

Baxa Corp and Health Robotics have formed a strategic alliance to automate the preparation of patient-specific chemotherapy drug admixtures. As part of the agreement, Health Robotics will optimize its technology for the exclusive use of the Baxa Two-Fer Needles in the automated vial and final containers' access steps for its CytoCare Robot.

The needles provide a unique design that can be used for vented and nonvented vial access. Their Huber tip prevents vial coring, making it ideal for safe access, whether in an automated device or for manual preparations.

The CytoCare Robot is a fully automated system for safe preparation of patient-specific hazardous intravenous (IV) doses. "CytoCare constitutes a breakthrough advance for patient and clinician's safety," said Werner Rainer, general manager of Health Robotics. "This alliance combines state-of-theart technologies to achieve the accuracy and sterility that providers require for automating patient-specific IV admixture preparations," he added.

Electronic Prescriber Interface Gains Momentum

PDX-Rx.com's WebScript Electronic Prescriber Interface is gaining widespread adoption by prescribers throughout the country.

The interface allows physicians to securely submit electronic prescriptions for patients to US pharmacies. Physicians or delegated staff members log into the WebScript section of www.rx.com and use the interface to write and submit new prescriptions - at no cost to the physician. The site also offers physician tools such as drug information.

In the future, physicians will be able to transmit prescriptions electronically to almost any pharmacy in the country, as well as to access an electronic health care record for their patients. Physicians also will have the capability to perform third-party eligibility and formulary coverage checks before submitting a prescription.

In addition, the company has negotiated special programs with several pharmaceutical manufacturers that allow physicians to write Rxs for special products in inventory at Rx.com.

Giant Eagle Rolls Out ScriptChek Label

Patients who fill their prescriptions at Giant Eagle will be getting more information on their drug labels. The supermarket/pharmacy will use ScriptChek labels on its prescription drug bottles.

The label provides additional information along with an area allotted for patients to write their own reminder notes directly on the label. Developed by ScriptChek Visual Verification Systems Inc, the new labels extend out from the Rx drug bottles like noticeable flags, providing nearly 5 in of additional space for more information about medicines contained in the bottle. The extra space allows use of larger type fonts for easier reading and provides a place for patients to document the drug's indication. The labels also offer the convenience of just tearing off the extended tab for easy refilling, instead of having to return the bottle to the pharmacy.

The opportunity to include more information about contents will help improve not only readability, but also patient education about the Rx medicines that individuals are taking today, commented Stacy Kaufman, president of ScriptChek.

Electronic Tracking System Fights Drug Counterfeiting

As a first step to help secure the flow of prescription drugs from the factory to the pharmacy, a new pilot program will lead to the establishment of a national standard tracking system. Unisys Corp and SupplyScape Corp are providing the electronic drug pedigree technology. The pilot project is the pharmaceutical industry's first electronic drug pedigree. It will track the distribution of one of Purdue Pharma LP's analgesic products from the manufacturing facility to the wholesaler, H.D. Smith. Using a universal electronic pedigree model, the system is intended to help reduce the risk of counterfeit drugs being introduced into the legitimate supply chain. The system uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) or bar codes to pair each medication container with its corresponding pedigree. Without its pedigree, it is hard to determine where the drug has been and if it is genuine.

"An electronic drug pedigree further serves our primary goal of patient safety by enhancing both authentication and diversion control of prescription medications from the manufacturer through the wholesale distribution chain," said Aaron Graham, Purdue's vice president and chief security officer. Purdue is not new in the fight against counterfeiting and diversion. In 2004, the company became one of the first to provide fully integrated, anti-counterfeiting packaging designed to protect prescription pain medicine by initiating a pilot program to integrate RFID tags into its product labeling. Initial shipments of the RFID-tagged bottles were sent to Wal-Mart and H.D. Smith.

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