Monday, March 27, 2006

11th Congress of the EAHP, 22nd - 24th March 2006, Palexpo Congress Centre, Geneva, Switzerland

Hundreds of Hospital Pharmacists and other scientists from the health care sector were attended the 11th Congress of the EAHP from 22nd – 24th March 2006 in Geneva.

The main theme of the congress was “Quality and Medication Safety hand in hand”. In cooperation with the Swiss Society of Public Health and Hospital Pharmacists (GSASA) the Organising Committee succeeded to organize a successful congress.

Among the seminars and presentations were the following topics:

  • Access to innovative oncology drugs in Europe
  • The need for drug information exchange across European countries: creating a European information service network
  • Quality of pharmaceutical services: a tool to help improve the safety of the medication process?
  • Risk management in hospital pharmacy
  • Stability of injectable drugs
  • Barcode and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) scanning: from theory to reality
  • Evidence based drug formularies
  • TPN for neonates: evolution over 30 years
  • Drug distribution on trial – is nit dose the correct way forward?

The next 12th Annual Congress of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists will take place in France, in the beautiful city of Bordeaux, from 21 to 23 March 2007.

Here are some photos from the 11th congress.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Six taken ill after drug TGN1412 clinical trial

Six men remain in intensive care after being taken ill during a clinical drugs trial in north-west London.

The healthy volunteers were testing an anti-inflammatory drug at a research unit based at Northwick Park Hospital when they suffered a reaction.
Relatives are with the patients, who suffered multiple organ failure. Two men are said to be critically ill.
An investigation has begun at the unit, run by Parexel, which said it followed recommended guidelines in its trial.

The men were being paid to take part in the early stages of a trial for the drug to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and leukaemia until they were taken ill on Monday within hours of taking it.
Eight volunteers were involved, but two were given a placebo at the unit which is on Northwick Park Hospital's grounds but is run independently.

TeGenero, which manufactures the drug, apologised to the sick men's families and said the medicine had shown no signs of problems in earlier tests.
The company's chief scientific officer, Thomas Hanke, said he and his colleagues were "devastated" by what had happened.
He said TGN1412 had been tested extensively in laboratories and on rabbits and monkeys, with no adverse effects and no drug-related deaths.

It was the first time the drug, designed to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, leukaemia and multiple sclerosis, had been tested on humans.

Scotland Yard said officers were talking to the MHRA and doctors.

Source and Links from BBC

Six taken ill after drug trials

Drugs trial men 'are improving'

Drug trial four 'are conscious'

Animal tests 'false reassurance'

Human drug trials 'fundamental'

Making a career out of drug tests

Q&A: Drug trials

North West London Hospitals NHS Trust




Saturday, March 11, 2006

Stabilis 3 is ready!

Stabilis is a database of drugs for injection.

The following information is given for each drug:

- trade names in different countries
- stability in simple solution
- stability in admixtures
- factors which affect its stability
- incompatibilities
- routes of administration
- relevant references.

It has been compiled in an international language based οn pictograms (definitions in 24 languages are provided for all the pictograms in a special dictionary).

The database consists of:

- a series of Monographs
- summary information οn drugs for injection
- equivalent trade names and compounds
- classification by route of administration
- classification by pharmacological category
- stability in various container materials (EVA, elastomer, etc.)
- stability after freezing
- factors which can affect drug stability (container material, temperature, light, etc.)
- a dictionary translating the pictograms and abbreviations
- references

Chief editor of the project is our colleague Dr Jean Vigneron, Hospital Pharmacist, Nancy Teaching Hospital, France ( .

Hospital Pharmacists who are interest can obtain it by sending their address to

Friday, March 03, 2006

INCB proposes measures to fight illicit methamphetamine manufacture

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) sounds the alarm on the rapid increase in the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine, in its Annual Report released today (1 March 2006), in Vienna.

Besides rapidly increasing in North America and South-East Asia, the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine is also spreading to other regions such as Africa, Eastern Europe and Oceania. This trend is fuelled by traffickers' ability to divert ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, the key precursors for methamphetamine, from licit distribution channels.

Following the monitoring of nearly 2,000 shipments of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine
in licit international trade in 2005, the Board was able to zero in on a series of suspicious shipments of the two substances. These shipments were headed towards North America and South-East Asia, where illicit methamphetamine manufacture is known to take place, but also to countries in Africa and Central and South America. The largest of those cases include the prevented diversion of 26 tons of pseudoephedrine to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and 7.3 tons to Kenya, 19.5 tons of ephedrine to Paraguay, and 3 tons each of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine to Belize.

Traffickers take advantage of existing loopholes in the international and national control regimes to obtain precursors for methamphetamine manufacture. Bulk ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are controlled under the 1988 Convention; however, these measures apply only to the raw material, not to pharmaceutical preparations containing those substances. To counter the situation, the Board recommends extending existing controls to the pharmaceutical products containing these substances. INCB has also developed an electronic system which helps exporting and importing countries exchange notifications, thus making it easier to monitor illicit trade.

In the Americas, traffickers are turning to new routes of diversion and to preparations containing pseudoephedrine as a source for illicit methamphetamine manufacture. In response, under Project Prism, the international initiative focusing on ATS precursors, Governments have started to introduce voluntary measures to identify and prevent such diversions, such as the assessment of licit requirements in the substance and the sending of pre-export notifications for pharmaceutical preparations containing pseudoephedrine. Exports of pseudoephedrine to Mexico increased five-fold between 1998 and 2004.

A number of suspicious shipments of pseudoephedrine to that country were identified in 2005. In response, the Mexican authorities have prohibited brokers from importing pseudoephedrine, and reduced imports of the substance by half.

To counter methamphetamine manufacture, the Board urges all Governments to assess and report their countries' licit requirements for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.

International Narcotics Control Board