USC opens unique pharmacy lab to teach students sterile compounding
Davis says the lab will allow teachers to better demonstrate proper procedures and techniques.
The lab has cameras which will broadcast demonstrations to students in a separate classroom.
By: Cara Stokes
The University of South Carolina opened a new pharmacy lab to better teach their students the standards for compounding medications.
A study of the American Journal of Health-Systems Pharmacists found that only 13 percent of deans of pharmacy schools across the nation feel their students graduate with adequate training in sterile compounding.
Compounding is when a licensed pharmacist combines or alters drug ingredients to meet the unique needs of an individual patient. Common examples of compounded medications include hormone combinations and antibiotics.
The facility cost the university nearly $400,000. The project began after unsafe sterile compounding at the New England Compounding Center led to a fungal meningitis outbreak which killed 64 people in 2012.
"When that facility was investigated, it found that their techniques were not following standards and that there were multiple contaminants, so that led to a whole series of new laws, regulations," said Bob Davis, a professor at USC's School of Pharmacy.
Davis said USC's new lab, the Aseptic Compounding Experience (ACE) features state-of-the-art technology that will allow teachers to demonstrate proper procedures and techniques.
"We began to look at how we could renovate the lab, what facilities we had available, what educational programs existed and what had to be developed," Davis said.
Over the next five years, 550 pharmacy students will receive training in the facility and an estimated 1,000 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will receive advanced sterile compounding training.