Medications and medical devices available to consumers today first had to be vetted through a lengthy process involving pharmaceutical manufacturers, researchers, medical professionals, and pharmacies.
With the launch of its own investigational pharmacy within the Student Health Center, UNLV will now play a role in that process. The facility will dispense medications and devices that are in the research and testing phase — positioning UNLV as the proving ground they need to someday become the potentially life-changing solutions that patients can easily obtain.
UNLV is kicking off seven clinical studies requiring the support of the new investigational pharmacy.
“It’s exciting to participate in the work that’s done before a medication gets to market and help it get there,” said Anne Hartig, managing pharmacist at the UNLV Student Health Center Pharmacy. “Some patients who go into clinical studies have tried many commercially available options before unsuccessfully, so to have new investigational options to pursue gives them hope.”
UNLV’s investigational pharmacy leverages the existing on-campus, nationally accredited Student Health Center Pharmacy located in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. The Nevada State Board of Pharmacy and drug manufacturers assessed and approved the university's readiness through a process that dates back to fall 2017.
The pharmacy will now receive incoming investigational tablet drugs, liquid preparations, and devices; provide the required counseling of patients on expected drug effects, possible side effects, and interactions, and more; and monitor and record how investigational drugs and devices are dispensed, discarded, and/or returned to manufacturers.
The investigational pharmacy is also exploring the possibility of delivering drugs to the UNLV School of Medicine for study participants unable to travel to UNLV's Maryland Pkwy. campus and providing counseling to them via phone or video conference. UNLV hopes to build out the infrastructure necessary to deliver investigational compounded drugs to participants in the future.
"The new investigational pharmacy will be tremendously beneficial to UNLV," Hartig said. "It’s an attraction to practitioners and participants alike to come to a university like ours that provides them with this kind of support for clinical studies."