Background The Pharmacy Service includes a unit dose medicines dispensing section. Drug repackaging consists of repackaging drugs which are not within the unit dose system. This process consumes much of the time of the pharmacy technician.
Purpose To establish a working protocol in the repackaging section and measure the work done in the area after the establishment thereof.
Materials and Methods We developed and distributed working protocols. Later, we distributed them to the technical personnel working exclusively in the repackaging area. We performed a prospective observational study (2011). The variables were: repackaging volume (total drugs repackaged, repackaged tablets/month, repackaged tablets/year), repackaging time (total repacking time, lighting and heating time of the repackaging and cutting machine, repackaging and annotation time) and classification of drugs according to the expiry date.
Results The repackaging process steps set out in the protocol were: lighting the repackaging machine, medicines preparation, cleaning of the repackaging area. Completion of the quality control repackaging sheet. Repackaged drugs must be fully identified. The total volume of the repackaged drugs was 300, 39,498 tablets/month, 479,979 tablets/year, and the time devoted to packaging: cutting time 2 seconds, heating time of 2 seconds, cutting time 1 min/12 blisters, repackaging time 8.5 min/120 packs. 24% of the drugs had an expiry >3 years.
Conclusions Repackaging is 25% of the workload of the pharmacy technicians. The new system enables the staff to work more efficiently, decreasing the repackaging time with a high volume of drugs repackaged/year. The expiry date of the repackaged drugs must be extended in order to obtain a better use of resources.
No conflict of interest.
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