Background One of the tasks of the Pharmacy Department of the CHUV (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois) is to supply the hospital with drugs. Medicines not commercially available must be manufactured by the pharmacy. This can be done batch-wise or through named prescriptions for individual patients.
Purpose Batch manufacturing implies a number of principles and constraints such as planning, delays to be taken into account, number of items per batch, final check by the Quality Control Unit and storage and distribution by the Pharmaceutical Logistics Unit. Because these are often incompatible with personalised medicine, it was necessary to define criteria allowing the Manufacturing Unit to decide between batch and individual preparation.
Materials and methods Three pharmacists collaborated to design and develop a decision algorithm meeting the above objective. This algorithm was then introduced and is being applied to all preparations manufactured by the Pharmacy Division.
Results The following criteria were taken into account when designing the algorithm: standardised doses, stability, frequency and number of prescriptions, urgency and costs. A total of 440 preparations were analysed according to the algorithm; 174 have been earmarked for batch production and 266 for named-patient preparation.
Conclusions This algorithm now provides the Manufacturing Unit with an objective tool with which to decide between batch-wise and named-patient classification for new preparations and to review the status of preparations annually.
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