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Jon Borschow Becomes Chairman-Elect Of Healthcare Distribution Management Association

MIT Developing Technology Invented By Borschow Drug And Being Considered By FDA


October 31, 2002
Copyright © 2002 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

The Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA) recently chose Jon Borschow, president of locally owned Borschow Drug (BD), to be its next chairman. He is already representing the organization in meetings with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regarding new methods to reduce errors in the use and distribution of medication. Technology invented by BD right here in Puerto Rico may be implemented nationwide for that purpose.

Borschow told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS that the FDA would soon require changes in the healthcare industry to dramatically reduce errors in medication management at hospitals. "The current processes lack the necessary controls to prevent errors that result in the complication of illnesses and even in patient deaths," he said.

The Washington, D.C.-based Institute of Medicine of the National Academies reported in 1999 that "the human cost of medical errors is high. Based on the findings of one major study, medical errors kill some 44,000 people in U.S. hospitals each year. Another study puts the number much higher, at 98,000. Even using the lower estimate, more people die from medical mistakes each year than from highway accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS."

As a result, the FDA has become interested in technology invented by BD in Puerto Rico, said Borschow. He added that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Auto ID Center is expanding on the technology and postulating it as a global standard. "I trust the changes the FDA will mandate will be consistent with this new technology," Borschow said.

"I informed the FDA of the availability of solutions for the identification and monitoring of medicine units used at hospitals and at other healthcare providers," Borschow said. "These solutions allow for the development of processes that reduce errors. The FDA was very interested in our technology because we have eight years’ experience to back it up, demonstrating its feasibility."

As Borschow explained, many factors can lead to medical errors, among them changes in temperature while medical units are being transported and the introduction of counterfeit units during the distribution or warehousing process.

"Our technology can avoid that," he said. "We place a unique tracking code on each medicine unit. This code allows us to monitor a unit and know all its characteristics, such as lot number, expiration date, and where it has been in the supply chain. MIT is adding temperature sensors to our technology, enabling us to know if a product is damaged and even if it is counterfeit," Borschow said.

BD has developed a number of other technologies to improve the distribution and warehousing of medical products. Stockless distribution, for instance, is currently used by the local Veterans Hospital and by the Municipality of San Juan’s Health Department.

"The contract with San Juan is being disputed by a rival company that alleges it was awarded to us as a political favor," said Borschow. "The municipality adopted concepts of the Veterans Hospital’s contract, which BD won in a bidding process, to set up its own bid. There were local and mainland companies in the bidding process, but we were the only company to ultimately bid for the project. Since we won the contract, San Juan has reduced the number of damaged, expired, or lost medicine units. Now 99% of the medication needed at the hospital is available to patients," said Borschow, adding that he is proud of this accomplishment.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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