New app available to help identify hazardous drugs

Published on February 15, 2018

A new mobile app is available that may help veterinarians and veterinary employers enhance worker safety in handling dangerous drugs.

The app is offered by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), a scientific, nonprofit organization that sets standards for the identity, strength, quality, and purity of medicines, food ingredients, and dietary supplements manufactured, distributed and consumed worldwide. It is available for $3.99 for Apple and Android devices.

The goal of the app is to help healthcare workers – including veterinarians – safely handle hazardous drugs as labeled under USP’s General Chapter <800> Hazardous Drugs – Handling in Healthcare Settings.

USP’s <800> is anticipated to become official on Dec. 1, 2019.

Although the chapter will not become official until 2019, USP encourages “adoption and implementation of General Chapter <800> to help ensure a quality environment and protection of healthcare workers and patients when hazardous drugs are handled.” USP provides further details in FAQs on General Chapter <800>.

The new mobile app from USP, called <800> HazRx™, will help healthcare workers, including veterinarians, to:

  • Identify if the drug they are handling is hazardous
  • Get information on how to safely handle hazardous drugs in accordance to standards
  • Stay up-to-date on the list of hazardous drugs with monthly updates

The mobile app is not veterinary specific, and it does not replace institutional protocol. However, the AVMA wants to ensure that veterinarians are aware of this resource as a potential tool to enhance worker safety in handling hazardous drugs.