Playing a Role in Clinical Research

Pharmacists play a key role in clinical human research trials throughout Penn State Health — scientific investigations to find out how new treatments work in people. The pharmacists in our Investigational Drug Services (IDS) procure, store, blind (hide the knowledge of a particular treatment to remove bias) and dispense medications for over 300 studies per year. They assure that the drug use plan for all clinical trials is safe and effective and meets all regulatory requirements, including the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.

Current practice areas with drug studies include:

  • Pediatric and Adult Hematology and Oncology
  • Cardiology
  • Asthma and Allergy
  • Anesthesiology/Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Dermatology

Investigational Drug Services also supports the AsthmaNet Clinical Research Network and the Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS) trials.

We also provide pharmacy services for national cooperative investigating groups, including:

IDS pharmacists serve on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. The IRB reviews and approves research protocols (sets of rules) for use throughout the system. All drugs used by IDS pharmacists have undergone IRB review and approval. Penn State Health medical professionals who are leading new studies rely on IDS pharmacists for their drug expertise.