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Research Pharmacy

The Rockefeller University Hospital Pharmacy supports the Hospital's mission to provide the safest and highest quality patient care to patients and participants while simultaneously advancing scientific knowledge to improve the care of future patients around the world. This mission is achieved in collaboration with other healthcare providers and is designed to:

  1. Provide state-of-the-art pharmaceutical care and services focused on achieving optimal patient and participant outcomes.
  2. Provide pharmaceutical knowledge and research pharmacy functions to support the scientific investigations conducted at University Hospital.

The Rockefeller University Hospital Pharmacy operates under a contract with an adjacent hospital. This arrangement ensures that the Rockefeller University Hospital Pharmacy can focus on the Institution's research mission and yet provide benefits such as purchasing power, backup staffing, and training support associated with a large academic medical center. The Pharmacy is staffed by one pharmacist and a pharmacy technician. Under the contract, any additional consultative services, appropriate 24 hour-a-day coverage, and all training is provided by the adjacent hospital.

First and foremost, the Pharmacy, in partnership with the nursing and medical staff, ensures the proper ordering, dispensing, and administration of all medications, both routine and experimental. The Research Pharmacist serves on the IRB and the Senior Staff Committee and approves drug-related protocols; procures, stores, dispenses and keeps records of study medications; maintains inventory control; provides subjects with study drug information and ensures study compliance; and provides drug information to investigators, nurses, and their associates. The Pharmacy conducts failure mode and effect analyses (FMEA) to identify critical policies, procedures, systems, and personnel training that might need consideration prior to establishing a new research protocol.

The Research Pharmacy compounds investigational drugs or their placebos in small quantities for use as research reagents in Pilot or Phase I studies. It also provides information about outside compounding facilities; and locates and obtains hard to find drugs, domestically as well as internationally.

The Pharmacy participates in various ways in the development of new drugs or dosage forms. In particular, it assists investigators in preparing INDs by: retrieving clinical, chemical and regulatory information about a compound; procuring the compound; and conducting preliminary studies. The Research Pharmacist provides investigators with information about sterile formulations, and trains and certifies investigators in aseptic technique. This training and certification is necessary when a product cannot be formulated in the Pharmacy due to the use of specialized techniques or equipment.

The Research Pharmacy also participates in the design of research studies. Simple comparative, randomized studies are often developed by the investigator in conjunction with the Research Pharmacist; more complex designs and evaluation of sample sizes are developed in collaboration with the biostatistician.

The Research Pharmacy, in conjunction with other departments of the Center, conducts an extensive quality control program to assure patient safety and the accuracy and validity of the conduct of the clinical studies. The quality control program includes, evaluation of medication variance reporting, adverse event reporting, temperature control monitoring, testing for sterility and pyrogens and an annual audit of each pharmacy research protocol for compliance with standard operation procedures.