USP <800>: What Is It, and Why Do DNSs Need to Know?

By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - September 08, 2020

Late last year, nursing homes gained additional time to deal with implementing United States Pharmacopeia (USP) general chapter <800>, “Hazardous Drugs—Handling in Healthcare Settings.” While COVID-19 has rightfully taken precedence through much of 2020, directors of nursing services (DNSs) still need to get up to speed on the USP <800> practice standards, which in the coming years could present a roadmap of liability for long-term care facilities if staff are adversely impacted by hazardous medications.


The basics

The independent, nonprofit scientific organization U.S. Pharmacopeia (also known as USP) writes compounding standards, says Dana Saffel, PharmD, CPh, BCGP, president/CEO of PharmaCare Strategies in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, and a member of the board of directors at the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). “As part of those compounding standards, the new USP <800> creates standards for managing hazardous drugs.”


USP <800> was supposed to go into effect on Dec. 1, 2019, notes Saffel. “However, the only references to this new chapter come from revisions to existing chapters on sterile and nonsterile compounding. Those other two chapters were put back into revision at the end of last year due to the filing of appeals. Therefore, USP <800> will remain informational only and not be an official active chapter until the two preceding chapters that reference it become official. For now, you have a sanctioned bye that gives you more time until it is an official USP recommendation.”