Driving patient safety in unlicensed medicines

Bob Chana, Hospital Account Manager, describes safety concerns around unlicensed medicines and how we alleviate them.

“With increasing pressure on hospital pharmacy staff to provide high-quality care efficiently, it’s my job as an account manager to work with my customers and assure them of the quality of the products we source or manufacture.”

Describing challenges his customers face, Bob continues “My customers need to ensure that when it comes to purchasing unlicensed medicines, they are getting quality products that meet MHRA quality standards.”

“Our unlicensed bespoke specials and batch-made specials are all produced in MHRA-licensed facilities and always undergo comprehensive quality checks to ensure the highest-quality products are manufactured. Each product also comes with a Quality Assurance guarantee, Certificates of Analysis (COA) or Certificate of Conformity (COC), product profiles and, where appropriate, instructions for use.”

“For unlicensed imports, we source medicines that are already licensed in their country of origin as it ensures the highest level of patient safety. All imports are supplied with the correct documentation – Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC), Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) and a Product Specification. We also provide added assurance by working with well-established, validated suppliers who are individually audited to ensure full integrity of the supply chain. All potential suppliers are risked assessed and have to disclose in-depth company information as part of the audit, such as certificates the company holds, product information, storage systems, shipping and transport information.”

Highlighting another challenge faced by customers regarding unlicensed medication, Bob explains, “In order to treat patients effectively, they must take their prescribed medication as intended. This can sometimes be an issue if the medication is an import and the information is not in English. This can increase the risk of patients’ not taking medication incorrectly, which could have serious health implications and lead to rehospitalisation.”

“UL Medicines understands the risks of not providing information in English and provides peace of mind with our over-labelling service. This helps to improve patient safety by including a Patient Information Leaflet that has been translated and contains all necessary patient precautions and advice to meet their specific requirements.”

Bob also explains, “With unlicensed medicines making up just 1% of all prescriptions, it’s unsurprising that hospital pharmacy teams may need guidance to ensure the correct medication is chosen for their patients’ needs. In response, our customer service support is led by pharmacists who have exceptional product knowledge and are available whenever customers have a query. This support is invaluable in providing clarity on the medication and how it will meet the patients’ requirements.”

Bob reflects on what’s important to customers, “All hospital pharmacy teams want consistent quality in the form of documentation and support, which is the added value that we provide as standard. As a result, we’ve developed our service to provide hospital pharmacy staff with the confidence and peace of mind so they can focus on helping patients.”

With you to drive safety

To ensure you’re familiar with the documentation or the support we offer to drive patient safety, please contact your dedicated Account Manager who will be more than happy to review your account with you. Alternatively, to find out more about our products and service and how they can meet your quality standards please click here, ring +44 (0) 800 112 3363 or email info@ulmedicines.co.uk.