Problem: Historically, an institutional class II pharmacy could not legally dispense multi-dose medications from the inpatient supply. Therefore, bulk medications such as insulin pens were disposed after hospital discharge. This resulted in unnecessary medical waste. Through the 2014 amendment of Florida Administrative Rule 64B16-28-810, the University of Florida Pharmacy obtained a “special limited community permit” to legally dispense used inpatient insulin pens. Starting in July 2016, this project aimed to utilize this permit for patients with diabetes (picture #1).

Methods: Pediatric patients receiving insulin from July 2016 to July 2019 were included in the analysis. Inpatient insulin usage was tracked. The amount of insulin units remaining (total dispensed minus total administered) was calculated as the total potential waste per patient.

Results: 220 unique insulin pens were dispensed in 128 different patient encounters. The total amount of insulin saved was 55,920 units, the equivalent of 186 insulin pens. At an average cost of $85 per insulin pen, 186 insulin pens is approximately $15,735 of cost savings to the health care system.

Conclusions: The “special permit” has reduced waste for the hospital and provided patients with needed medications. Ideally, this process would be disseminated to other institutions, helping more patients with diabetes and reducing insulin waste.


P. Hiers: None.

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