Helsinki University Hospital acquires automation system for its centralized compounding process

In 2016, HUS Pharmacy acquired the world’s then largest automated dispensing system for its pharmaceutical services, supplied by NewIcon. In 2021, the hospital continues to invest in more automation; this time, to boost its centralized compounding process. NewIcon is again chosen as the supplier.

Each year, approximately 40,000 antibiotic solutions are reconstituted at HUS Pharmacy. This work is done manually in clean rooms using aseptic working methods. In total, more than 500,000 antibiotic preparations are made available at HUS in the wards by the nurses.

However, the manual compounding process is laborious and binds the nurses’ resources, causing a constant and growing need for the compounding service at HUS Pharmacy. Moreover, the increasing demand for large-volume distribution of not only antibiotic solutions, but also other compounded sterile products has prompted the hospital to look for a more efficient compounding method.

According to HUS, the total cost savings from automating the compounding process is approximately 0.9-1.4 million euros per year. *

Only NewIcon accepted the challenge

HUS published an information request on the acquisition of an automated compounding system in July 2020. In the request, the market was mapped for potential manufacturers of industrial and laboratory equipment.

Based on the survey and the request for information, NewIcon was chosen as the only supplier which was able to meet the needs of HUS Pharmacy in terms of automating the compounding process.

The compounding system will come with additional features

Newicon’s IV ICON Twins is an automated compounding system, originally developed for compounding intravenous antibiotics and meeting the aseptic requirements in clean rooms.

Besides these basic features, HUS Pharmacy has required additional features to be developed, so that a wider range of sterile preparations can also be automated, making full use of the system’s potential. HUS Pharmacy expects the system to compound intraocular injections as well as antibiotic treatment preparations.

“The system delivery, in addition to the necessary modifications to adapt to HUS’s needs, is an excellent opportunity for us to work in close co-operation with one of the top hospitals in Finland and their pharmacy professionals,” said NewIcon’s Sales Manager Lauri Rissanen. “The delivery project will include R&D tasks as well as process development. This will make the IV ICON Twins even more versatile and capable of adapting to various compounding needs from different customers.”

The IV ICON Twins Compounding System is estimated to be delivered in 2022. The system will be located at one of HUS Pharmacy facilities.

*All facts and numbers regarding HUS Helsinki University Hospital’s operation are taken from the hospital’s publicly available announcement for the result of the tender.