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Sporicides. NHS & Pharmig hold joint disinfection transfer meeting.

In July 2015, InSpec's Director of Operations & Quality Engineering Steve Brown attended the Pharmig/ NHS co-hosted meeting titled “Sporicides – As Part Of Your Transfer Process” which was convened in response to recent MHRA guidance. The content of the meeting examined the use of sporicides for aseptic transfer in pharmacy units, with the object of the meeting being to share best practice and outline a strategy for the implementation of sporicidal disinfectants. 

The meeting covered the technical details of what spores were, and the risk factors associated with them in the context of the medical and pharma industries. This discussion lead to experts (such as Tim Sandle, a leading Microbiologist & Pharmig Committee Member) placing a strong emphasis on the need for a sound biocontamination control strategy, in order to reduce the presence of these spores in critical areas.

The issue of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) regarding manufacturers of sporicides and disinfecting agents was highlighted to be critical in preventing outbreaks of infection (such as the infamous New England Compounding Centre fungal meningitis issue). This issue of increased focus on the importance of GMP in sterile cleaning and disinfecting agents was raised in InSpec's recent article published in Cleanroom Technology which you can view here. 

New MHRA guidelines were discussed in detail at the meeting, and a highlight of this part of the discussion was the great need for standardisation of wiping steps. Wiping into cleanroom environments (or the aseptic transfer process) using sporicides may not be something that every Cleanroom Operator is used to. However, transferring Cleanroom Operator's abilities of wiping in with alcohol disinfectants to wiping in with sporicides should be relatively easy when combined with InSpec's Burstable Pouch Wipes & associated instructions.   

Some members of the group were confused on just which properties were important in sporicidal preparations. Things such as log reduction were discussed, with corrosiveness and damage of cleanroom apparatus as a concern for most users of sporicides with extremely high log reduction. Rachel Blount (a Pharmig committee member) explained that surface testing in clean and dirty conditions was a good way to determine the actual usefulness of a sporicide. Tim Sandle reiterated this point, urging delegates to ensure that the sporicidal preparations that they are using are fully validated to industry standards. Tim mentioned that data from environmental monitoring could be particularly useful here. Mark Osborne summarised the important criteria when deciding on which rotational sporicide to use to: contact time; residue breakdown products; concerns with corrosiveness; stability; and quality.

The event was supported by Pharmig members who supply disinfectant products and related tests for environmental control. The 130 delegates, (including InSpec's own Director of Operations & Quality Engineering, Steve Brown) gave positive feedback, and found the the day to be very useful.

The one-day event was both educational and practically based. Importantly, many delegates left with a clearer understanding of what needs to be done for the implementation of a sporicidal product into a pharmacy unit.  Pharmig and the NHS are planning to hold a second event in the near future.

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