Gannett’s News Press yesterday released a news article including a video of how Health Robotics’ i.v.STATION Robot customer LeeSar Compounding Services in Fort Myers, improved patient safety and reliability and reduced costs with the i.v.STATION Robot for seven Florida hospitals, after it started to use it in 2011: http://www.health-robotics.com/en/testimonials/
“Though safety is a big stated reason for in-house compounding at LeeSar and Lee Memorial’s health centers, simple cost and supply demands also are driving much of the move here. LeeSar estimates the robotic devices produce compounded products at 20 percent lower than the cost of buying the medication elsewhere, or a difference of about $180,000 a year per machine. This is why we did it: Reliability – we could rely on these things to do it and do it right; Cost: we’re saving a substantial amount of money; And safety,” said Simpson, the CEO of LeeSar.”
The News Press continued: “Lee Memorial Health System, which had spent about $1 million a year to buy pre-mixed products, now only spends about $50,000, said John Armistead, who oversees the organization’s pharmacy services. And LeeSar, which started mixing less than two years ago, on Friday ordered its third robotic compounding device, each retailing for about $400,000.”
“To help with its own quality control, LeeSar recently recruited a safety expert from Bristol-Myers Squibb and has put its robot devices in environmentally controlled rooms that exceed the devices’ safety protocols, said Kenneth Greco, executive director of LeeSar’s pharmaceutical services. All robotically compounded products are stored for two weeks, while samples of each batch are shipped off of lab testing to make sure no contaminated products are released, Greco said. So far, none have, he said. Aside from equipment cleaning and handling, human error is largely removed from the equation, he said. The checks and balances are really good, said Greco, and you don’t have to rely on the variances of person to person.”
The News Press continued: “Contaminated batches of injectible steroids prepared at the Massachusetts-based New England Compounding Center were linked to about 700 cases of fungal infections, including meningitis, in 20 states. More than 50 associated deaths were reported, including five in Florida. Instead of outsourcing all this drug mixing, health systems are opting more and more to just do it themselves. A report in April by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that 56 percent of sampled U.S. hospitals are planning to change pharmacy practices and drug purchasing as a result of the NECC scandal. Here at LeeSar, a Fort Myers-based medical supplier that Lee Memorial Health System partially owns, devices like i.v.STATION produce about 600 such compounded IV solutions and injectables a day for patients at seven Florida hospitals.”
In 2013, at least 50 Pharmacy FDA inspections have taken place after the fatal meningitis events, closures and recalls at compounding pharmacies, including the recent inspections of four compounding facilities operated by the largest provider (PharMedium), with troubling results made available by the FDA on its website.