Accreditation: A Testament to Transparency, Quality and Safety
Our daily lives are filled with symbols, ratings and acronyms that translate to a product or service provider's quality and safety. Outside accrediting agencies inspect and test products as well as review policies and procedures. Accreditation helps companies distinguish themselves from their non-accredited competitors so that consumers and patients can be confident in a product or service's safety and quality.
Avella is a pioneer in voluntarily seeking accreditation by independent agencies that are experts in specialty pharmacy. In 2006, Avella of Scottsdale became the first specialty pharmacy in the nation to receive accreditation by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB®). PCAB is a voluntary quality accreditation designation for the compounding industry that was founded by eight of the nation's leading pharmacy organizations. PCAB's founders set high expectations for compounding pharmacies seeking accreditation. Compounding pharmacies invest substantial time and money to prepare for and maintain PCAB accreditation. PCAB accredited pharmacies are the gold standard for compounding pharmacies.
In order to merit accreditation, a compounding pharmacy must have current, detailed procedures for every step in the process of compounding a medication. Additionally, the compounding pharmacy must have training procedures, personnel requirements for compounding pharmacists, and HIPAA policies to ensure patient confidentiality.
Avella’s national distribution facility, sterile lab and community-based specialty pharmacies that compound medications are PCAB accredited. A team of PCAB professionals performs on-site inspections prior to accreditation and every three years following accreditation. In addition, PCAB has the authority to arrive at any PCAB-accredited pharmacy for an unannounced survey at any point during a pharmacy's accreditation cycle.
The outbreak of fungal meningitis in the fall of 2012 from contaminated syringes of compounded steroids illustrates the risk and fatal consequences to patients who received compounded medication from a non-accredited compounding pharmacy. A PCAB-accredited pharmacy must adhere to stringent procedures to maintain sterility and must regulate internal temperatures to prevent an environment that promotes bacterial and fungal growth.
As the demand for compounding medication grows in response to the medical community's move toward personalized medicine, it is even more important for healthcare providers to entrust their patients' safety to Avella, a compounding specialty pharmacy whose mission is "To optimize patient health through a relentless devotion to clinical excellence." Avella strives for perfection in every aspect of its services and is evident by its commitment to accreditation.
Avella Wholesale earned accreditation from the National Association Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) in 2011 as a Verified-Accredited Wholesale Distributors (VAWD). Avella proudly joined the ranks of wholesale distributers, such as Cardinal Health, Eli Lilly and Company, McKesson Corporation, Schering Corporation, that have successfully undergone a criteria compliance review, including a rigorous review of operating policies and procedures, licensure verification, survey of facility and operations, background checks, and screening through the NABP Clearinghouse. This professional accreditation is awarded to pharmaceutical wholesale distributors that are in compliance with state and federal laws in preventing counterfeit drugs from entering the United States drug supply and protecting the public from drugs that have been contaminated, diverted or counterfeited.
To qualify for VAWD Accreditation status, Avella Wholesale was required to meet stringent criteria regarding their licensure, facilities, personnel, records keeping practices, policies and procedures, and authentication and verification activities. Further qualification for this accreditation requires the safe handling policies and procedures for returned, damaged, and outdated drugs.
Avella is currently in the process of securing URAC accreditation. URAC accreditation is one of healthcare's most prestigious accreditations, with over 600 organizations and companies accredited worldwide. URAC is, in fact, healthcare's largest accrediting body. Committees of experts representing diverse interests in the healthcare community develop URAC standards.
For Avella, URAC accreditation is not limited to operations directly related to the dispensing of medications. Indeed, in addition to policies and procedures commonly associated with a specialty pharmacy, Avella must meet URAC standards for customer service, call center operations, HIPAA privacy and security, claims processing, drug therapy management, quality assurance, governance, facility security, and scores of other policies and procedures. Avella is confident that it will receive full URAC accreditation in 2013.
The demand for specialty and compounded medications is growing rapidly due to the medical community's move toward personalized medicine as well as advances in pharmaceutical technology. Protect your patients and research your options for a specialty pharmacy provider as thoroughly as you would research any other component of their care. Avella's accreditations by unbiased, independent experts communicate Avella's commitment to quality and safety.