Department in Depth

Our overall aim is to ensure safe, effective and economical use of medicines and support education, training and research.

Our department consists of pharmacists, as well as pharmacy technicians and support personnel, who work together to assure patients receive the highest quality pharmaceutical care possible. We have a total of over 80 staff that provide pharmaceutical services to two on site pharmacies and to St Lukes Hospital, Rathgar and Our Lady’s Hospice Harold’s Cross.

Our Key services are:

Medicines Management
We manage the full supply chain of medicines and selected para-pharmaceutical products for the hospital. This includes negotiation of contracts, assessment of suitable products, researching supply of unusual medications. We have a product list of in excess of 3,500 products.  We provide a top up service to all wards in the hospital, with trained technicians supplying product against agreed stock levels. We dispense medications daily for an average inpatient population of 900 patients. We monitor storage conditions on a daily basis within the Pharmacy Department. We advise on all issues pharmaceutical to the wards and other departments.

The Aseptic Compounding Unit (ACU)
The ACU manufactures individually tailored chemotherapy and biologic preparations for St. James's Hospital patients.
The ACU is equipped with modern isolator technology in a clean room environment. The clean room operates as a Grade C (European G.M.P.) environment whilst the aseptic filling and preparation is carried out within either negative or positive (Grade A environment) isolators. A comprehensive validation programme for staff and equipment is in place, according to International guidelines. The unit is staffed by qualified and trained pharmacists and technicians. 

Clinical Pharmacy Services
Clinical Pharmacy service is provided to all acute areas in St. James's hospital. A group of clinically qualified pharmacists work at ward level as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care. Activities provided include a prescription monitoring service, pharmacovigilance, sourcing of unusual medicines and the provision of specialist education on drug therapy. In addition, a comprehensive continuous education service is provided to undergraduate and postgraduate pharmacy and medical staff. Clinical pharmacists also contribute to in-house educational programmes for nursing and para-medical personnel. We provide an in house medicines information service to the hospital, with a comprehensive database query retrieval system. 
Specialist senior pharmacists provide advice in  HIV and Genito-Urinary Medicine, Haematology and Oncology, Intensive Care, Cardiology,Respiratory Medicine, Anti-microbials and Gerontology, Psychiatry.

Emergency Duty Pharmacist
An out of hours pharmacy service exists for drug information and emergency supply of medicines for St.James' and it's associated hospitals, St. Luke's, Rathgar and Our Lady's Hospice, Harolds Cross. Supply outside pharmacy opening times is STRICTLY on an EMERGENCY basis. Authorisation of the request by a Consultant or Registrar may be required.

GUIDE Pharmacy Services
The GUIDe pharmacy, an onsite satellite pharmacy, is the largest provider of medications to HIV positive patients in the Irish Republic. The pharmacy team play a pivotal role in the provision of both a pharmaceutical supply and clinical pharmacy service to all HIV positive inpatients, and greater than 2000 HIV positive outpatients. This involves educating both patients and physicians on new drug therapies and interactions, managing multi-drug resistant viral infections and compliance issues. The team also provide timely and essential guidance on toxicities including cardiovascular and renal complications.
A pharmacy service is also provided to the sexual health outpatient clinics, HIV/TB coinfected patients and extra Pulmonary TB patients.
In addition the team provide a medicines information service and are involved  in the management of  clinical trials.

Clinical Trials
We are continuing to develop our expertise in the area of clinical trials. Senior pharmacists are trained in Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and we have dedicated space to support the storage, temperature monitoring and documentation associated with this research.
We are able to provide both oral and aseptic dispensing services for clinical trials.
Our main area of interest has been oncology /haematology but trials are ongoing in care of the elderly and HIV patients.

Research and Development
The Research and Development laboratory is located in the pharmacy department in St. James Hospital and is linked to the department of Clinical Pharmacology and therapeutics in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin.
Areas of research at the laboratory include
1. Microbiological validation and quality control
2. High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis
3. Dissolution testing of solid dosage forms
4. Temperature Validation