You may not be aware of it, but receiving your prescription medications (at a reputable pharmacy) involves a set protocol to ensure that each individual dose meets its standard of safety and quality. Not only do medications have a shelf life, but how they are stored — the necessary conditions they require to maintain their quality — is just as vital to how effective and potent your medications will be. If medications are stored improperly, even though they may not be dangerous to take and are used prior to their expiration date, can undoubtedly be ineffective. This wastes time and money, but most importantly, compromises your time of recovery.
The Bumrungrad International Pharmacy has procedures set in place to ensure that every one of our patients is getting only top quality prescription drugs. From purchase to storage to distribution to making sure a patient understands how to properly take their prescription, each step of the process is responsibly handled with consideration and care.
Medication Selection and Purchasing
We don’t source our medications from just any supplier. Prior to purchasing a supply of a certain medication, a thorough background check and review of the manufacturer is performed. Only manufacturers that are certified and pass all safety and quality regulations by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in their country — with proof of certification — will be able to collaborate with us. As well, they must be certified by the GMP
(Good Manufacturing Practices), which are regulatory agencies that oversee the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products all over the world.
Each and every type of medication must also come with a Certificate of Analysis (COA)
— a document provided by the manufacturer attesting that both the drug’s raw materials and final product meet their purity and quality requirements specified by the applicable pharmacopeia
. A pharmacopeia is a gathered collection of quality standards for medicinal substances.
Different countries have their own pharmacopeia. Bumrungrad International Hospital upholds the United States Pharmacopeia (USP)
as the benchmark and uses it as the primary reference. In instances where a certain medication is not listed in the USP, Bumrungrad International will look to the Japanese Pharmacopoeia
, British Pharmacopoeia
, or other appropriate pharmacopeia instead.
Additionally, our selection and purchasing process does not only consider the manufacturing of the medications but also the delivery process to our pharmacy’s medication storage facilities. Manufacturers must be able to guarantee the safe and secure delivery of the medications before we can proceed with purchase.
Lastly, prior to shipment, all medications, by law, must be approved by the Thai FDA. You can be assured that all medications prescribed to patients at Bumrungrad International Hospital are FDA approved.
Storage of Your Medications in a Controlled Environment
How medications are stored once they arrive is just as crucially important.
At the Bumrungrad International Pharmacy, specialized medication storage facilities are in place to provide the required conditions needed to properly store medications — such as temperature and humidity control and exposure to light and air. Proper storage conditions are important because, as previously mentioned, it can affect the quality of the medications.
Additionally, each facility is monitored around the clock by our team of pharmacists who are there to ensure that everything is always running in order.
Accuracy, Security, and Efficiency with Assistance from a Pharmacy Robot
Handling medications dispensed for inpatients is done utilizing a modern, effective operational tool known as the Swisslog Pharmacy Robot
. The pharmacy robot is a robotic drug dispensing system which controls inventory automation for the pharmacy. Bumrungrad International is one of only a few hospitals in Thailand currently utilizing this technology for inpatient prescriptions (and soon to be used for outpatient prescriptions as well).
First, a prescription is entered into the pharmacy’s computer system. The pharmacy robot then determines the applicable container and locates the prescribed drug out of an inventory of thousands. The robotic arm then counts the quantity of pills or tablets and properly packs them into the container (or locates the bottled elixir). The container (or bottle) is labelled with the patient’s name and drug information, date, barcode, and other applicable information, and sent to the pharmacy for an accuracy check by a pharmacist.
The benefits of utilizing a robotic system includes not only the efficiency, but also the reduction of the possibility of human error.
Final Confirmations When Handing Over Your Prescription
As the pharmacy robot completes its task and hands over the prescription to the pharmacist, there are still a set of final procedures that the pharmacist must follow. With each prescription, the pharmacist will double-check that everything is correct and in order alongside explaining the proper directions of use for the medications to the patient. This involves a check-list the pharmacist must go through when handing over medications, which include confirming that it is the:
- Correct patient: Is it the right name on the prescription?
- Correct drug: Does the drug match the patient’s condition?
- Correct dose: How many doses should the patient take per day?
- Correct time: When must the patient take their medication?
- Correct route: How must the patient administer their medication?
It’s vital that the pharmacist goes through this procedure with every patient, every time medications are handed over, as to ensure the utmost safety and effectiveness.
An Expert Team of Pharmacists to Assist You
At the Bumrungrad International Pharmacy, over a hundred pharmacists are on hand to assist patients, with many being certified from the United States. Bumrungrad International Hospital has the highest number of US board certified pharmacists within the private hospital sector in Thailand.
Quality Medication Matters
The cost of pharmaceuticals in many countries worldwide, especially the United States, have skyrocketed over the years. People all over the world are now travelling overseas for medical care as well as specialty prescription medications — and the trend continues to increase.
It’s more than just an added benefit to know that the hospital where you are undergoing treatment has an international standard quality pharmacy dispensing your medications at affordable prices. High quality pharmaceutical standard practices are safer and provide peace of mind.