21 Important Measures for Safety of Drugs in Hospitals

3. Staffing: Pharmacy should have adequate duly qualified full time staff (B. Pharma./ M. Pharma./D. Pharma) holding valid licenses.

4. Clearly laid down stocking policy allowing minimum inventory holding without any stock outs.

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5. A procedure for ensuring supply of vital/essential items at all times and desirable items without undue delay. It should also include emergency supply of vital/essential items during nonworking hours, when required.

6. Ensuring procurement of right quality drugs.

7. A procedure for receiving, inspecting, taking on charge, storage, retrieval, issue (first in first out) and accounting of stores well known to all the staff.

8. A scientific system of inventory management with periodic inventory analysis (ABC, VED, HML, etc).

9. Policy and procedure for control, issue and accounting of dangerous drugs such as chemotherapy drugs, psychotropic substances.

10. A special procedure for procurement, stocking, safe storage, issue, and accounting of the narcotic drugs, known to all the staff and meticulously implemented for effective control.

11. A procedure for preventing the losses due to misuse, pilferage, obsolescence/expiry of shelf life or deterioration of potency due to the faulty storage conditions.

12. A protocol for recall of drugs found non-effective, substandard or toxic and submission of reports to the office of Drugs Controller General, where applicable.

13. A protocol for prevention of issue of wrong medicines by the pharmacists or wrong medication by the nurses.

14. A strict check over issue of drugs without proper prescriptions, especially the narcotic/ dangerous drugs.

15. A protocol for verification of all high risk medication orders (such as chemotherapeutic/ narcotic/psychotropic/immunosuppressant drugs) for accuracy of the dose, frequency and route of administration from the treating doctor before issue/administration.

16. A protocol documented and well known to every doctor, nurse and technician, about prevention and management of drug reactions.

17. Education of patients/their family members about the safe usage of drugs, the method and frequency of use, the precautions to be taken, the side effects and the food-drug interactions.

18. Continuous training and education of all the pharmacy staff to enhance their proficiency.

19. Issuing drug information and pharmacy bulletins for information of user staff from time to time.

20. Ensuring compliance of all statutory requirements including timely renewal of licenses.

21. Constituting a Drugs and Therapeutics Committee with clearly laid down role and functions including a check over the quality and safety of drugs and their correct usage.