Sun Pharma has just announced the release of Gemcitabine InfuSMART in Europe, a technology that allows oncology products to be delivered in a ready-to-administer bag.
Until now, preparing oncology medications for administration to patients was done at compounding centers or in hospital pharmacies. Gemcitabine InfuSMART is expected to reduce the possibility of medication errors, increase standardization, help control costs, reduce waste and ensure proper labelling and bar coding in each item.
Sun Pharma, based in Mumbai, India, is the first pharmaceutical company in the world to manufacture and launch a licensed ready to administer (RTA) oncology product.
Gemcitabine InfuSMART will have a shelf life of two years. Rollout will begin during the next few months in the Netherlands, U.K., Spain, Germany, Italy and France.
The National Health Service (NHS) in the U.K. had been encouraging the development of licensed RTA products and has already issued guidelines for hospitals to get them. The NHS believes that RTA products can help reduce harmful medication mistakes by minimizing opportunities for error.
Production for Gemcitabine InfuSMART received regulatory approval in eight key stock keeping units (SKUs). The concept involves dose banding practice where, in agreement between prescribers and pharmacists, standardized doses of intravenous cytotoxic drugs are used for ranges, or “bands”, of doses optimized for individual patients.
“Sun Pharma’s Gemcitabine InfuSMART ready-to-administer infusion products provide the combined advantage of long stable compounded medicine along with safety. Its ready availability for treatment can make a difference to the healthcare worker and patients,” said Hellen de Kloet, the company’s Business Head of Western Europe & ANZ, in a press release. “Traditionally such medicines are compounded at hospitals (in-house) or outsourced to compounding pharmacies making it a time-consuming and potentially hazardous process. Launch of InfuSMART will help us remain a meaningful player in the global oncology therapy market by offering differentiating cancer treatment solutions. We believe there are opportunities for us to expand our portfolio of ready-to-administer products across multiple therapies where time and safety are an important element of treatment.”