When people think of a pharmacist, they usually think of someone dispensing medication. Pharmacists do fill prescriptions, but there's another type of pharmacist who plays a vital role in clinical research. The research pharmacist is skilled in making the clinical trial part of drug development possible.
Indeed, research pharmacists are part of multidisciplinary teams that investigate new pharmaceuticals and drugs developed for patient care.
There are two types of research pharmacists at Mayo Clinic. One facilitates clinical trials involving medications through protocol review and support of the medication management process. The other designs and conducts research as a principal investigator, or research to address other questions in the fields of pharmacy or medicine.
"There is a lot of skill and training required to be able to correctly develop and prepare experimental therapeutics," says Svetomir Markovic, M.D., Ph.D., an oncologist and principal investigator of the Melanoma Research Lab at Mayo Clinic. "These are medications that we administer to a patient in a vein or inject in a tumor or the brain. The research pharmacists make sure that the drugs are made correctly, that they go to the right person in the correct dosage."
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