Preparing for USP<800> Success: What I Learned at LP3 Network

Sonia Martinez, BPharm Marco Drugs and Compounding

I have been a pharmacist for over 22 years and a small business owner since 2006. I know that to keep my business running smoothly and to provide the top-quality products my customers depend on, I need to stay sharp and up-to-date on the latest techniques and technologies. To do so, my staff and I regularly complete continuing education courses and credits like the ones offered by LP3 Network, a global partner of MEDISCA.

In 2016, the CDC announced new guidelines regarding the handling of hazardous drugs in healthcare settings and the implementation of USP <800> is set to begin December 1, 2019. These guidelines, while basic in their nature, can be confusing. I recently attended LP3 Network’s ”Essential Elements of Hazardous Drug Compounding” course at its new Aventura, FL site, to bring me and my practice up to speed on the latest developments regarding USP <800> and to ensure that my pharmacy is compliant with the USP <800> regulations. The course helped explain how to implement these guidelines to ensure my pharmacy is compliant and even more importantly – explained the “why” behind the regulations.

My pharmacy is a full-service pharmacy and that means we are regularly working with hazardous pharmaceutical ingredients such as apomorphone, azathioprin, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine, diethylstilbestrol, estradiol, fluorouracil, medroxyprogesterone, phenytoin, progesterone, spironolactone, among many other ingredients. Therefore, it is incredibly important that my staff and I know how to appropriately use and understand personal protective equipment, engineering controls, closed system transfer devices, facility design, workflow considerations, and implement safe handling practices at all times. We don’t want to harm ourselves, the environment or the end user while we’re compounding a custom medication to help treat a patient.

The LP3 Network course taught me how to minimize and prevent hazardous drug contamination and exposure. The course showed me how to implement powder containment techniques, proper waste disposal, and what to do in emergency situations such as chemical spills, to name a few. Overall, the course made me feel more confident in the next steps that I am taking to prepare for the USP <800> implementation.

I feel that LP3 Network’s Essential Elements of Hazardous Drug Compounding course has been one of the best classes I have ever attended. And more importantly, it addressed this matter straightforwardly and directly. Christine Roussel, the facilitator for the course, is a superb and passionate speaker. She is witty, intelligent and she has a strong desire to convey the importance of employee and practice safety. She understands the challenges, stressors, and pressure we as pharmacists and technicians face when working in the pharmacy. It’s clear that LP3 Network has thoroughly thought through what components contribute to creating a safe and successful compounding pharmacy practice. I’m eager to explore more of their offerings – and I’m certainly ready for USP<800> implementation.


Sonia E. Martinez, R.Ph. is a compounding pharmacist and co-owner of Marco Drugs & Compounding in Miami, FL.

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