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Books

Comprehensive guide on handling hazardous drugs

The book answers questions that are likely to be raised when setting up safe compounding services.

Book cover of ‘The chapter <800> answer book’

The chapter <800> answer book, by Patricia C Kienle. Pp xxxii+174. Price $99. Maryland: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists; 2017. ISBN 978 1 58528 573 0 eBook Price $89. eISBN 978 1 58528 574 7

The United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) recently released the final version of ‘Chapter <800>, Hazardous drugs: handling in healthcare settings’. All compounding units must comply by 1 July 2018. USP is a standard-setting organisation, not a regulatory or enforcement agency. Accreditation organisations, such as state boards of pharmacy, enforce USP standards.

This book sets out to provide expert guidance and practical advice to pharmacists, technicians and other healthcare workers involved in the handling and compounding of hazardous drugs. It offers, in plain language and in a question-and-answer format, a comprehensive guide to every area of compounding, administering, storing and dispensing of hazardous drugs.

The book is organised in a format similar to the layout of Chapter <800>, with each chapter beginning with an overview of the key issues and requirements of that sector, followed by questions and answers covering the specifics of compliance.

Chapters cover all aspects of handling hazardous drugs such as assessment of risk, personal protective equipment, types of engineering controls, closed system transfer devices, design of compounding facilities, decontamination and cleaning, environmental monitoring and hazardous waste.

Some chapters are further subdivided — for example, the chapter on personal protective equipment discusses gloves, gowns, hair covers, shoe covers, eye protection and respiratory protection. A glossary of terms, acronyms and abbreviations is included, along with an extensive reference to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health list of antineoplastic and other hazardous drugs.

The book offers answers to more than 600 critical questions, such as “is the disposal of hazardous drugs part of my responsibilities?” or “what is required to be in a spill kit?”

Although this book is primarily intended for the US market, it contains a wealth of useful information that is applicable to practice outside America. Pharmacists in Europe will already be following most of the Chapter <800> standards. Nevertheless, the book brings together most of the questions that are likely to be raised when setting up safe compounding services.

Laurence A Goldberg

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203179

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