Although majority of the hospitals have already established contacts and work schedule with their pharmacy team it is still common pharmacy to be involved at later stage and not during the initial set up of the study. Not communicating with pharmacy team during the initial study selection and set up has its complications.

How could pharmacy team help during clinical trial selection and set up?

  • Pharmacy team could raise important questions regarding study drug and its safety profile.
  • Pharmacy team could spot any potential logistic issues.
  • Pharmacy team could provide feedback on treatment schedule, drug preparation and administration.
  • Pharmacy team could provide information on drug storage requirements and if pharmacy is able to accommodate them.
  • Pharmacy team could identify potential deviations from standard of care, which could affect the recruitment.

Still quite often clinical trials teams accept studying presuming pharmacy team will not have any issues with them. However, it is common in such cases to experience delays in study set up because of issues identified by pharmacy team during their study review. If there is a proper communication between all teams at the initial selection stage, this will reduce potential delays.

What are the consequences of not involving pharmacy team in clinical trials selection and set up?

  • Pharmacy related issues are identified later in the study set up, which causes delays.
  • Drug related logistic issues are identified after the drug is delivered to the hospital, which causes confusions and delays.
  • Pharmacy is not fully prepared to handle the study drug, which causes frustration in the team and potential safety issues.
  • Resource issues in the pharmacy.
  • Slow recruitment.

The only way to avoid complications at the beginning of the clinical trial is to keep all parties involved in the study informed. Never presume there will be no questions from pharmacy unless the clinical trial is discussed with pharmacy team.

Author: Olga Peycheva

Olga is a clinical research professional who has been working in clinical research since 2005. She has extensive experience in clinical research in Eastern and Western Europe. 

Originally published on 15 June 2015