Safe dosing of Methadone by Peristaltic Pump
UK OEM customer, MethaMeasure UK Ltd, has recently awarded the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Award for their ground breaking medicine dispensing system.
For several years a supervised methadone dosing service has been available to recovering drug addicts. Available in pharmacies, rehabilitation centres and prisons, this allows the patient to receive his or her prescribed daily medication as a single dose taken in the presence of a pharmacist, therapist or prison officer. Although this method has proved highly successful, dispensing methadone manually is a relatively high risk, costly and time-consuming procedure.
MethaMeasure addresses this issue by providing a fast and automatic method of administering methadone. The dispensing system, housed in a compact cabinet, initially identifies the patient by fingerprint. A pump then measures the appropriate dose of methadone for the patient to drink and a record of the event is automatically saved.
Stephen Dickson comments that "The impact on pharmacists, doctors and prescribing clinics has been gradual but profound. The system has dramatically reduced methadone dispensing errors".
Needless to say, the accuracy of dosage and the reliability of system are critically important. Reducing the potential of human error is a key benefit of the system as, at worse, an incorrect dose could prove fatal to the patient.
The model selected for this application was the Verderflex M500 ac. This is a robust pump with a proven track record for a variety of applications including vending, chemical dosing and condensate removal. It has a flow rate of up 730 ml/min.
No internal backflow on the Verderflex M500 OEM pump ensures accurate dosing without slip providing repeatability of typically ±0.2% and metering capability of ±2%. This performance meets the stipulations of both the Weights and Measures and new Medicines Act and therefore makes it the ideal choice for MethaMeasure.
Several application specific factors had to be borne in mind in choosing the pump. Avoiding contamination is of course a key point but as the Verder OEM peristaltic pumps are based on a patented, seal-less design only the tube comes into contact with the medication. The tube itself was also selected to be resistant to the acidity of the methadone and the simplicity of pump design makes it easy and quick to exchange the tube in the field.
“Customer service was the overriding factor in our choice of Verder,” explains MethaMeasure’s Stephen Dickson. “Their people have been excellent, helping us develop a completely new product that is compliant with all relevant regulations. They have pushed this project from concept to full design and implementation.”
The number of installations of MethaMeasure is testimony to the success of this product. Stephen Dickson confirms, “The product is now in every pharmacy chain in the UK and also installed in over 300 independents.”
Reference provided by:
J Stephen Dickson MRPharmS
General Pharmaceutical Council Reg: 2050927
WINNER: Royal Pharmaceutical Society Awards - 2012
"Leadership in pharmacy"
Superintendent - Dickson Chemist Ltd.
Director - MethaMeasure Ltd.
Advisor - LDN Research Trust.
Medicines Information - Prescribe4me.co.uk