[Pharmwaste] FW: FW: USP Question on today's call - can folks please clarify the question on blister packs?

Carla Saxton CSaxton at ascp.com
Mon Feb 6 14:32:01 EST 2006

I am a pharmacist on staff with the American Society of Consultant
Pharmacists (ASCP).  ASCP is a professional, membership association that
represents pharmacists who work with older adults, largely in nursing homes
and assisted living facilities.

I just wanted to provide to some information about the repackaging of
medications in blister packs, as most of our members dispense medications in
this type of packaging system.  There is quite a bit of controversy over
reuse and repackaging of medications.  Nevertheless, USP does state that
repackaging should not be done.  So, your statement about  the fact that
repackaging of medications should only occur once, from the original
container to the blister pack, is correct based on USP¹s guidance.  However,
some pharmacies do utilize non-heat sealing mechanisms (e.g., cards with
sticky adhesive) when repackaging the second time around, from blister pack
to blister pack.  This reduces the med¹s exposure to additional heat.  But,
this process is not clearly addressed by USP or other regulatory agencies ­
to my knowledge.

Just as an FYI, ASCP has a policy statement on return and reuse of
medications, which is available on our website at:

Carla Saxton, RPh, CGP
Assistant Director, Policy and Advocacy

American Society of Consultant Pharmacists
1321 Duke Street - Alexandria, VA 22314
csaxton at ascp.com | http://www.ascp.com
Phone: (703) 739-1316 ext.129 | Fax: (703) 739-1321

America's Senior Care Pharmacists®

From: Stevan Gressitt <gressitt at uninets.net>
Date: Sun, 5 Feb 2006 17:09:00 -0500
To: <pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us>
Subject: [Pharmwaste] FW: FW: USP Question on today's call - can folks
please clarify the question on blister packs?

For those interested in the issue of re-dispensingŠIt has taken me a while,
but I think this means there is a new complication. It would appear that
repackaging medicine through blister pack technology is not acceptable
except for one, the first and initial, pass to the first customer.
It is not clear to me how any recycling can then be done, unless original
packaging is used.
Stevan Gressitt, M.D.

From: Claudia Okeke [mailto:cco at usp.org]
Sent: Friday, February 03, 2006 1:54 PM
Cc: Claudia Okeke
Subject: Can folks please clarify the question on blister packs?

Dear Dr. Stevan,

The content of your discussion lies on two USP general chapters- <661>
Containers, and <1146> Repackaging in single dose containers such as blister
packs. USP says in <661> that reprocessing of repackaged unit dose container
shall not be done. Part of the concern here is on the the effect of heat
sealing when blistering, and the dosage form storage and handling which may
compromise the intergrity of the drug prior to adminstration. I hope this
has answered your question.


Claudia C. Okeke, Ph.D.

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