Particulate Matter: What is It and...

Particulate matter contamination in injectable drug products, especially in large numbers, can cause harm to patients. Common particulate sources include: solvent impurities, drug precipitates, dust, glass, rubber, environmental contaminants, fibers and other insoluble materials. 

The size of particulate matter is an important factor when considering the potential risk to patients. Particles as small as 2 μm in diameter have been associated with microthrombi formation in patients. Dr. Michael Akers with the Food and Drug Administration notes that the smallest capillary blood vessels are considered to have a diameter of approximately 7 μm. Therefore, all particles having a size equal to or greater than 7 μm can conceivably become entrapped in and obstruct capillaries, increasing the potential for adverse effects. Simple visual inspection, which is required for compounded injections, may be adequate for large particles, but is inadequate for smaller particles. The lower limit of visibility of the naked eye is approximately 40 μm. Specialized testing methods are therefore necessary to adequately assess the total particulate burden of injections.

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Quality Compounding Summit

Microbial Limits...

Contamination of pharmaceuticals with microorganisms may lead to deleterious effects on therapeutic properties of the drug, and may potentially cause injuries to intended recipients. Cases of contaminated nonsterile products have been reported in increasing numbers, and often associated with the presence of objectionable microorganisms. Methods for detection of these organisms are described in three major Pharmacopeias.

USP <61> Microbiological Examination of Non-Sterile products: Microbial Enumeration provides tests used to determine bioburden present in raw materials, during production, and in the finished product. This microbiological test determines the total population of aerobic bacteria and yeast and molds that might be present in pharmaceutical ingredients and finished products...

Quality Compounding Summit

2017 Quality Compounding Summit logo

Quality Compounding Summit

September 8-9, 2017

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The Quality Compounding Summit, presented by ARL Bio Pharma and the American College of Apothecaries, brings together national speakers for a two-day educational conference focused on quality in compounding. 

Industry leaders will speak on key topics selected to build your pharmacy's success, including best practices, safety, facility design, and regulatory issues.

  • Tony J. Park, Pharm.D., J.D., California Pharmacy Lawyers - USP <800> California Board of Pharmacy Implementations - How pharmacists can incorporate USP <800> into facility design
  • Joe Cabaleiro, R.Ph., HealthRx LLC - Root cause analysis for compounding pharmacists
  • Elizabeth Scott Russell, National Association Boards of Pharmacy - Regulatory landscape for inspections of compounding pharmacies by state boards of pharmacy
  • Loyd V. Allen, Jr., Ph.D., R.Ph., International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding - Coping with the changing compounding landscape
  • Thomas C. Kupiec, Ph.D., ARL Bio Pharma - Beyond use dating
  • Thomas C. Kupiec, Ph.D., ARL Bio Pharma - Microbiology testing: USP requirements for sterile and non-sterile preparations


Hotel and Event Center

September 8-9, 2017

Embassy Suites OKC Downtown Medical Center

Oklahoma City, OK


Register today and join us as we elevate excellence within the compounding industry!

Importance of Testing Raw Materials

Drug components differ in purity, specifications and quality. According to FDA draft guidance, it's important for compounding pharmacies and outsourcing facilities to verify drug components purchased from suppliers.

Pharmacists verify drug components by:

  • reviewing the supplier's certificates of analysis (COA)s;
  • establishing reliability of the supplier's analyses through vendor qualification; and,
  • testing drug components before use in compounding.