Ron Donnelly has worked in the Custom Compounding

Area at The Ottawa Hospital for almost 20 years. His responsibilities consist of compounding pharmaceutical products for in-hospital use, quality control testing of these products, compounding and packaging supplies for clinical trials, and performing physical compatibility and chemical stability studies. The Custom Compounding Area was created in 1983 and remains one of the few hospital services in Canada in which pharmaceutical products are compounded and subjected to full quality control testing before release.

The Custom Compounding Area was originally started to help reduce hospital drug costs by manufac­turing on site products that were also commercially available, such as IV nitroglycerin, silver sulfadiazine cream, and metronidazole in minibags. However, to meet Health Canada’s requirements for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, the focus of the service was later changed to compounding for in-hospital use only products that are not commercially available, and was eventually expanded to include physical compatibility and chemical stability research.

About 30 products are compounded and tested regularly by the service, including suppositories, capsules, and parenteral products. Several other products are prepared on request. Quality control testing consists of sterility, pyrogen, pH, and chemical analysis for parenteral forms and chemical analysis for all other dosage forms.
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In support of clinical trials conducted at the hospital, the Custom Compounding Area provides a blinding and packaging service for investigators. When required, placebo forms of the study medication are also prepared by the Custom Compounding Area. Blinding consists primarily of placing the contents of commercial tablets or capsules into opaque capsules and packaging the capsules into containers for use in the clinical trials. Mr Donnelly is a member of the Ottawa Hospital Research Ethics Board, helping to review clinical research proposals.