At the 20th Annual Napa Pain Conference, I was fortunate to conduct a presentation at a pre-conference meeting entitled,Drugs for Intrathecal Administration: Access and Safety.” I began with a discussion of pharmacy provider considerations in order to provide basic relevant criteria for determining a qualified compounding pharmacy provider. Among my topics for consideration was an emphasis on facility design. I emphasized that the sterile compounding area must be separate from the general pharmacy area and that proper sterile compounding requires a dedicated staff that has been specifically trained under the guidelines of USP 797. Additionally, I discussed the importance of clean room design, air quality and air changes per hour. I emphasized that compounding pharmacies should have a dedicated cleaning and disinfection program, an environmental monitoring program, and policies and procedures regarding personnel cleansing and garbing.

In response to drug shortage issues, I touched on the topic of drug accessibility issues as it relates to utilizing compounding pharmacies for commonly used drugs that have become short in supply. These drug shortages require the need of a quality compounding pharmacy to fill voids. I also briefly addressed the newly implemented changes in a practice’s ability to obtain Prialt.

In the end, I stressed to each individual: perform due diligence. Physicians and medical professionals need to invest more time and resources to determine which compounding pharmacy is best for their practice.