Organ of the
GD Society for Dermopharmacy
Report by Dr. Ursula Schöffling, Trier, and Dr. Thomas Müller-Bohn, Süsel
The department Magistralrezeptur (Extemporaneous Preparations) of the
Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie organized two events under the lead
of pharmacist Rosemarie Eifler-Bollen, Eschborn on the occasion of 9th
GD-annual meeting in Vienna in March 2005. In a symposium dedicated to
"Presence and future of dermatological formulation" the significance
of formulation in Germany, Austria and Switzerland was subject to comparison.
Following, a noontime seminar supported by companies Dr. August Wolff
GmbH, Bielefeld, PKH GmbH Halle/Saale, and Caesar & Loretz GmbH, Hilden,
dealt with specific questions as regards production and safeguarding of
the pharmaceutical quality of dermatological formulations.
The symposium started with an introductory presentation by professor Dr. Roland Niedner, Potsdam, who outlined the reasons for the application of extemporaneous preparations from the view of a prescribing dermatologist. Niedner distinguished standardized and individually produced formulations. He classified the latter as potentially problematic since here at times non-compatible active agents and auxiliaries are combined or misapprehension at the concentration of the active agent may be the case.Formulations close
Niedner based his commentaries on practical examples. Due to the fact that Tretinoin is not available as ready-to-use product in a gel preparation, the prescription of Tretinoin-gel NRF 11.124 for the acne treatment is the appropriate product. In case of the treatment of rosacea a 0.75 % concentration of Metronidazol in a ready-to-use drug is insufficient, NRF-formulations based on one or two percent of the active agent may be used instead.
For patients suffering from wool wax alcohol allergy, the NRF-product line offers various wool wax-free bases which are - for example - hardly to find among the industrially produced urea ointments. If for the treatment of a minor eczema at the finger tip, a marginally small quantity of a Triamcinolonacetonide cream is required, a standardized formulation of the NRF as adapted "q,s, quantity" represents the alternative to a - in most cases - too large pack of a ready-to-use preparation.
A therapeutical gap has also been complained about by the ban of the usual Resorcin-containing Solutio Castellani. In exchange, Gloor recommended a formulation-related ethanolic fuchsine solution with chlor hexidin gluconate. For the application of the hydrophilic Capsaicin-cream NRF 11.125 at postzoster-neuralgy there is equally no alternative available as ready-to-use product.Dermatological formulation
Pursuant to pharmacist chambers, formulations constitute only 1.5 percent of the total revenue of Germany pharmacies. However, major importance is attached to this profession-immanent field of activity in view of production quality.
Dr. Gerd Wolf, Grafschaft-Ringen, (county-Ringen) regards the cause and source of lacking quality of formulations to lie in an insufficiently problem-oriented formation and communication complicacy between dermatologists and pharmacists. According to his experience from a formulation hotline which he organizes since 1998 in Rhineland-Palatinate, approximately 50 percent of the inquiries are directed to the production, followed by questions on instability, incompatibility and reasonableness of a formulation.
Already in 1977, the Kommission für Magistralrezepturen (Commission for Extemporaneous Preparation) of Deutsche Dermatologische Gesellschaft (German Dermatological Society) published a resolution aiming at quality improvement implying indicatory principles. Accordingly, standardized formulations (NRF, SR, reviewed company formulations) are to be given preference, merely two active agents used, adhering to reference and maximal concentrations and considering of negative monographs.
Further, Wolf drew the attention to the guidelines concerning dermatological formulation published by the Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie and later on also by the Bundesapothekerkammer (Federal Pharmacy Chamber). They were complemented by active agent dossiers for external dermatological preparations elaborated by the department Extemporaneous Preparation of the GD.Dermatological formulation
The significance of extemporaneous preparation in Austria was highlighted by Dr. Wolfgang Jasek, Vienna. Extemporaneous preparations constitute in Austria a share of approx. 2.5 percent of prescriptions and are to approx. 62 percent preparations for external application. Dermatologists are in the vanguard (45 percent), followed by pediatrists (35 percent), and ophthalmologists (14 percent).
The legal general conditions are in essential contained in the new Austrian Apothekenbetriebsordnung (ABO) (Pharmacist Work Rules) of 8 March 2005 containing fundamental determinations on quality-assuring drug production in pharmacies. The formulation text distinguishes "extemporaneous preparations" (prescriptions for a certain patient) and "officinal preparations" (pharmacopoeia preparations for proximate dispensing).
Pursuant to ABO the formulation preparation has to be effected in general in a laboratory or in a different appropriately equipped production room. The manufacturing of sterile drugs has to be possible in a pharmacy, in fact in the laboratory by using a laminar flow or an isolator - provided no dedicated sterile room is available. Corresponding facilities have to be made available until March 2008 at the latest in all Austrian pharmacies.
Preparation formulas for dermatology emanate in Austria above all from the pharma industry and the producers of formulation bases - in many cases after mutual development with university institutes. A registration data set of the actually used formulations is in planning stage.
In Switzerland extemporaneous preparations account at present for roughly one to two percent of the pharmaceutical volume of sales. However, in view of the production by public pharmacies, professor Dr. Christian Surber, Basle, predicted tough prospects for them in the future.
The considerably increased quality requirements as to international standards and adherence to regulatory charges regarding apparative equipment represent obstacles difficult to overcome for laboratory pharmacies. Not least due to economical reasons already at the time being pharmacies have limited or ceased their in-house-production of extemporaneous preparations at all.
Production and approval of drugs are incumbent in Switzerland on the Heilmittelinstitut (Drug Institute) Swissmedic and has been regulated since 2002 by the Bundesgesetz über Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte (Federal Law about Drugs and Medicinal Products) (Heilmittelgesetz, HMG) Drug Law). The preparation in formulation and supply scale in pharmacies is effected according to the so-called "GMP-light standards for minor quantities" - with the exception of drugs with increased risk potential - and is not subject to approval.
Extemporaneous preparation on medical prescription may be produced in Switzerland in a public pharmacy, in a spital pharmacy or - in their order also by a third-party company in toll manufacturing. Delivery by the physician is not possible. In contrast, in the so-called self-dispensing cantons the preparation is reserved to the physician.
The noontime seminar following the symposium offered a review on quality assurance of formulations including comprehensive information for the practice. Moderated by Dr. Ulrich Knie, Bielefeld and Dr. Holger Reimann, Eschborn, the subject was reflected in four lectures - both from a general perspective of the quality management and also from a special angle on the formulation.
According to Dr. Andreas Kiefer, Koblenz, quality management systems (QMS) improve the pharmaceutical quality of formulations in pharmacies. Also if the preparation of a good formulation is not obligatorily connected to the existence of a QMS, such a system contributes to a quality-oriented mode of operation and consistent way of proceedings in pharmacies..
By introducing of QMS the awareness for the necessity of checking formulations has equally improved. No drug may be released without control of the production process and the final product. It is therefore for example recommended to equally establish a production record for individual formulations as it is already stipulated in Switzerland at the present time.
The QMS in pharmacies also implies an extensive hygiene plan helping to come up to the requirements of microbiological quality of formulations. As certified biologist Friederike Schüller, Bonn, informed, ring tests based on a water-containing, not preserved preparation have shown that the microbiological quality of formulations prepared in pharmacies is in general acceptable. Also the germ charge of air, the formulation device and other fitments were not subject to objection in the vast majority of pharmacies investigated.Formulation test
by digital image analysis
In the view of Dr. Hans-Ulrich Plener, Tuttlingen, the quality proof of individual formulations by the production procedure provided in the German Pharmacy Working Regulations should be reassessed. This particularly applies considering the increased application of semi-automatic mixing systems allowing only a partial sensoric control of the manufacturing process therefore rendering a visual finished product control necessary.
By novel techniques methods are meanwhile available allowing to obtain more significant tests and quality documentation also on pharmacy-scale. Plener presented his own work on digital image analysis of light-microscopic exposures as example. The concept may be used in the context of dermatological formulation both for the test of starting materials and the finished product control and the archiving of test data.
By means of the novel
method a reproducible and practicable determination of size and repartition
of particles in starting materials and semi-solid preparations is feasible.
Therewith, the formerly required impracticable manual counting and measuring
of the particles is now superfluous. Before being able to establish the
concept as a standard procedure for pharmacies there is however still
some development work necessary.
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