Practice Spotlight

The cost of purchasing a high-performance liquid chromatography system to conduct chemical stability research in the Custom Compounding Area was justified by the potential for reduction of wastage of IV admixture drugs in the hospital. In addition, with the change to batch production of unit-dose syringes, there was a need for stability information for the more concentrated solutions. Over the years, the expiry dates for many IV admixture drugs have been extended, which has significantly reduced wastage. As new products are introduced, expiry dates are generated using stability- indicating chromatography methods. The Custom Compounding Area has also performed a number of stability studies for outside clients. Several pharmacy residents have completed research projects in the area, and 2 of these residents have gone on to obtain Doctor of Philosophy degrees in related topic areas. To date, Mr Donnelly has published more than 15 articles in various peer-reviewed journals reporting the results of stability studies.The Custom Compounding Area is funded partly by the hospital and partly by revenues generated from the packaging of clinical supplies and stability research activities. The staff consists of one full-time pharmacist (Mr Donnelly) and one part-time pharmacy technician, who is responsible for packaging and labelling of the final products.

The activities of the Custom Compounding Area represent a unique blend of pharmaceutical compoundĀ­ing and analytical chemistry, which together provide an important pharmacy service in this tertiary care teaching hospital. The challenges of working in this specialty area have pushed Mr Donnelly to remain abreast of changes in both fields. He finds it very rewarding to develop a new product or stability method that ultimately leads to better patient care.
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Because of the uniqueness of the work conducted in the Custom Compounding Area, Mr Donnelly is often called upon to act as a resource person, answering questions from within his own hospital as well as from outside hospitals, both locally and nationally.