The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) Investigational Drug Service (IDS) is directed by Brian M. Miller, PharmD who is assisted by Elizabeth A. Paul, RPh and a pharmacy technician, Kristine M. Fischl. In addition, the clinic pharmacy that works in tandem with the IDS has three full-time pharmacy technicians, four full-time pharmacists, and two part-time pharmacists. These individuals also participate in treating patients enrolled in protocol treatments mainly through order-entry, mixing chemotherapy, and dispensing provided oral medication. The IDS oversees all pharmacy procedures and processes at the UPCI central and community clinical sites and the Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) where UPCI sponsored studies are implemented and most Phase I studies take place. The IDS coordinate all pharmacy procedures associated with UPCI drug-related research protocols. The goal of the IDS is to ensure that the procurement, receipt, storage, accountability, preparation, dispensing, labeling, and shipping of investigational drugs are performed in accordance with all state and federal laws, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), and the local IRB approved protocol guidelines. Clinical recommendations for drug therapy, monitoring plans for a regimen, managing adverse events, and dose calculations are made with respect to the treatment of patients. Additional responsibilities of the IDS include reviewing all approved IRB protocols, standard chemotherapy and protocol regimens, supportive care regimens (antiemetics and other premedications), and investigational drug policies and procedures. UPCI's Off-site locations require special efforts to ensure rigorous and successful implementation, coordination, and monitoring clinical protocols. Throughout the entire network of cancer sites, the IDS provides oversight and monitoring for all pharmacy related activities. IDS also implements a quality assurance program, which includes labeling drugs per protocol and placing specific labeling on each medication to ensure proper dispensing, and an education program of pharmacists and/or pharmacy technicians for new protocols and treatments, inventory control, and optimized patient care.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-RTRB-L)
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University of Pittsburgh
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