Ensuring that controlled drugs really are “controlled” is an important task – and one with serious consequences if it goes wrong. In the States, details have recently emerged of how two employees of the pharmacy at a hospital in Atlanta stole more than a million doses of controlled drugs over a five year period. They were only discovered when hospital officials noticed some unusually large purchases.
While hospitals in the UK are geared up to keep a close eye on pharmaceuticals, is that the case for all UK institutions? A recent conversation with the legal team of a UK university revealed that they had had a ‘near miss’ that could have had grave consequences. The subsequent investigation revealed flaws in their processes that required immediate remedy.
The penalties for failure to manage pharmaceuticals are severe, both for departments and, potentially, individuals. Not only must policies comply with the Controlled Drugs (Supervision of management and use) Regulations 2013, but staff must be trained in the application of the policy and, most crucially, actually comply with it on the ground.
As a result of our long association with the healthcare sector, Verita has gained a great deal of experience in both assessing the basic strength of the core policies, but equally how well these are understood and applied by front-line staff who have to live by them.
If you have any concerns over your own policies or fear that standards may be slipping on the front line, please get in touch and we would be happy to explain how we might help.