USP 800 – A Primer on What You Need to Know

The clock is now running for entities to implement the new USP Chapter <800> Hazardous Drug Handling in Health Care Facilities. General Chapter <800> was published February 1, 2016 and becomes official July 1, 2018. All USP Chapters below <1000> are enforceable by regulatory oversight agencies such as boards of pharmacy, so pharmacies will need to integrate USP <800> requirements into their existing operating practices, and provide mandatory training for employees based on their job functions by July 1, 2018. The chapter applies to all healthcare personnel who handle hazardous drug preparations (e.g. pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, physicians, physician assistants, home healthcare workers, veterinarians, and veterinary technicians). ‘Handling’ includes the receiving, storing, compounding, dispensing, administering, and disposal of hazardous drugs. A hazardous drug is any drug identified as hazardous or potentially hazardous by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on the basis of at least one of the following six criteria: carcinogenicity, teratogenicity or developmental toxicity, reproductive toxicity in humans, organ toxicity at low doses in humans or animals, genotoxicity, and new drugs that mimic existing hazardous drugs in structure or toxicity. NIOSH maintains a list of antineoplastic and other hazardous drugs used in healthcare settings.
Non-compliance with USP <800> will not only leave workers unprotected, but could also potentially harm your pharmacy’s fiscal performance. Penalties, fines, potential legal actions and, ultimately, suspension or termination of license are all potential outcomes of non-compliance.
Your plan of action to fall within compliance should include a thorough study of the chapter, a gap analysis of your current facility’s operations, including equipment, workflow processes, personnel awareness and training; and development of an implementation budget and timeline. For starters, USP is offering a home study course on their education website. With the implementation of <800>, combined with the pending revisions to <797> Pharmaceutical Compounding – Sterile Preparations weighing in the balance, engaging the assistance of experts should be seriously considered. The proposed changes to <797> reflect new science and evidence based on updated guidance documents, best practices, and new learnings from investigations. USP received over 8,750 comments from over 2,500 individuals when the comment period for the <797> revisions closed January 31, 2016.
PMC can assist you with both <797> and <800> from preemptively examining your operation to developing corrective action plans should you get an inspection. We encourage you to address these changes proactively, and engage the assistance of informed experts early rather than having to reactively address cited deficiencies.