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Section III. PHARMACEUTICAL PREPACKAGING
2-6.
INTRODUCTION TO PREPACKAGING
Many pharmacies operate a prepackaging section. This section will focus on the
function of this important area.
a. Definition. Pharmaceutical prepackaging is defined as the repackaging of
bulk supplied drugs into containers which contain quantities of the drug which are more
suitable for individual patient use.
b. Justification. The following are two reasons of justification:
(1)  Cost. Many preparations can be purchased in bulk quantities at fairly
low prices. Then, the medication can be repackaged in smaller containers that contain
enough of the medication for one patient. For example, during the "flu and cold"
season, the demand for nasal decongestants increases tremendously. Physicians who
prescribe this type of medication usually write for the same number of capsules to be
dispensed. Further, physicians normally give the same dosage directions to each
patient who is to receive that particular drug. Thus, money can be saved if the nasal
decongestant is prepackaged and labeled.
(2)  Time. Prepackaged drugs can be dispensed quickly and easily with the
same professional checks as you would give any prescription. Thus, as in the last
example dealing with the "flu and cold" season, time savings are quickly realized when
hundreds of patients suddenly appear at the front window to obtain the same drug.
2-7.
EQUIPMENT USED IN A PREPACKAGING SECTION
Many pharmacies use the Versacount prepackaging machine (see figure 2-13).
This machine can be calibrated to place a specific number of capsules or tablets in a
drug container.
2-8.
LABELING REQUIREMENTS FOR PREPACKAGING DISPENSING UNITS
The pharmacy service in most hospitals is not in operation 24 hours a day. Thus,
when situations arise (for example, in a clinic or in the emergency room) in which drugs
must be dispensed when the pharmacy is closed, the medications must be dispensed
and labeled as per Army Regulation (AR) 40-2. To prevent medication errors, properly
labeled prepackaged medications are sent to various clinics or to the emergency room.
This type of prepackaged medication is designed to be dispensed to the patient by
authorized prescribers.
MD0809
2-17



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