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While many people around the globe were enjoying the holidays, the first human cases of COVID-19 were being reported in Wuhan City, China. Little did we know that this virus would escalate into a global pandemic that would change our lives forever.
Contec, being an integral link to many healthcare systems globally, had a rapid response to the growing concerns in the United States, releasing its first press release on the subject matter in February 2020. Shortly after, in March, Contec created a COVID-19 resource page to provide updated information and education to the public. Contec gained so much attention for being a reliable resource, that WYFF news channel 7 had our in-house microbiologist, PHD Mark Wiencek, on the news for a short, but eye-opening discussion about choosing the right disinfectant.
Contec gained so much attention for our reliable covid-19 resources that WSPA News Channel 7 decided to feature Contec for a news segment on how to safely and effectively use disinfectants and sanitizers on frequently touched surfaces. The segment was led by Contec’s lead microbiologist, Mark Wiencek, PhD. The segment built upon a corresponding video and article posted by Contec as part of the company’s response to an increased need for personal protection and disinfectant education.
2020 has been a significant year in the world of sterile compounding. In addition to the turmoil caused by a global pandemic, there is uncertainty surrounding the standards set by the USP committee and the waiting game on when those new Chapters will become official.
Late last year, the BUD (Beyond-use-date) provisions in the revised USP Chapters <797>, <795> and <825> were appealed and the new Chapters were postponed. In late January 2020, the appointed Appeals Panel deliberated and evaluated the information raised by the appellants and on March 12th, they issued their decision. The appeals to Chapters <797> and <795> were granted and those Chapters were remanded back to the CEC (Compounding Expert Committee). The appeal to Chapter <825> was denied, which means that Chapter will become informational but not compendially applicable.
By mid-summer, a new CEC was selected to serve a five-year term. On September 15th, the new CEC held an open forum to discuss the currently proposed default BUDs for compounded sterile preparations and to review the key arguments that emerged from previous hearings. Once the CEC has made their decision about BUDs, they will publish revised Chapters <795> and <797>. At that point, facilities will have a six-month window before the new chapters become official and enforceable.
As the Pandemic continued throughout the beginning of the year, the demand for disinfectants rose consistently. In response, Contec partnered with Milliken, another Spartanburg based company, to ramp up production of Sporicidin® Brand Disinfectant.
“Milliken immediately came to mind when we decided to bring on a new manufacturing partner,” shared Jack McBride, Contec, Inc. CEO. “Milliken is a trusted, key community player with the mass production, quality systems and speed-to-market capabilities needed to help us provide critical cleaning solutions to healthcare facilities without delay.”
COVID-19 has had tremendous consequences for the healthcare and pharmacy industry. Perhaps the most obvious shortcoming has been the supply and demand issues with personal protective equipment (PPE). While the world faced higher demands for PPE, manufacturers were not prepared to meet such demands. Many manufacturing plants were slowed or temporarily shut down as precautions against the virus. While many companies have gained back some control over PPE supply, procuring the coveted equipment remains a challenge.
As PPE, disinfectants, textiles, etc. raise problems for healthcare workers, so did drug shortages. Drug shortages are not a new phenomenon, but this time, drug shortages posed a new threat. In the past shortages could easily be fixed and pharmacists knew that the shortage was likely to end at some point. However, with the virus affecting the entire world drug market, pharmacists can no longer rely on outside sourcing to access certain medications. Read this article to learn more.