Alberta Health Services to build central drug production facility in Edmonton

Alberta Health Services is building a new central production facility in northwest Edmonton, the health authority said Wednesday.

Facility part of $66M project to consolidate and centralize preparation, distribution of medications

Edmonton will be home to a new central drug production facility where medications will be prepared for use in Alberta hospitals, Alberta Health Services says. (CBC )

Alberta Health Services is building a new central production facility in northwest Edmonton, the health authority said Wednesday.

Land has been obtained for the 40,000-square-foot facility that is part of a $66-million project to consolidate and centralize drug preparation and distribution for Alberta hospitals, AHS said in a news release.

Construction of the new Edmonton facility is expected to start in 2021.

The project also includes expanding and enhancing an existing central production facility in Calgary, and redeveloping five sites that will act as regional hubs. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2023.

"This centralized model will enable AHS to prepare and package a greater number of medications centrally, which will allow us to deliver the best and safest possible care for our patients," Karen Horon, senior operating officer of AHS pharmacy services, said in the news release.

Horon said some medications only need to be repackaged before they are dispensed to patients, but others need some type of preparation.

Preparing medications in a centralized pharmacy minimizes the time that nurses spend on preparing doses, freeing them up to spend more time with patients, she said.

The risk of medication errors decreases when drugs are distributed in "ready-to-administer, patient-specific packages," Horon said.