Research Pharmacy

Research Pharmacy

Pharmacy.jpgUAB Hospital Investigational Drug Service (IDS)

The Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee has deemed the Hospital
Department of Pharmacy as responsible for the proper storage and
distribution of investigational drugs prescribed for patients hospitalized at
UAB Hospital. Commercially available drugs may be considered investigational if the drug is obtained by the investigator outside of the normal hospital purchasing process.
The investigational drug pharmacist can assist investigators in planning and executing clinical trials using investigational drugs.  The pharmacist can also assist in the randomization and “blinding” process.

Investigators are strongly encouraged to meet with the investigational drug pharmacist prior to enrolling subjects in order to develop study-specific orders and review drug dispensing processes.  Fees to assist investigators are negotiable; however, this should be done before the study is ready to be implemented.  Investigators should contact the UAB Hospital Department of Pharmacy at 205-934-7191 for additional information.

Study Approval

Investigators are required to submit protocols to the Pharmacy Department at the time the study is submitted to the IRB.  A completed “Release of Drugs for Human Use” Form must accompany the protocol.  The current version of this form is available on the IRB web site.  Completing this simple form provides needed budgetary and logistical information, not always contained in a protocol.

Pharmacy Facility

Appointments are required for tours and audits. 
We provide limited access, locked ambient refrigerator and freezer storage for Investigational drugs within the Central, Storeroom, and Research Pharmacy areas of North Pavilion. 
We utilize the appropriate workspaces within the Central Pharmacy 797 clean room for the preparation of injectable doses.
The Alabama State Board of Pharmacy laws are followed regarding: space, storage and labeling.
Ambient temperature is thermostatically controlled to allow for a temperature range of 68F (20C) to 77F (25C).  If noted that the ambient temperature is out of the allowed range, the maintenance department will be contacted immediately to determine and correct the problem.  If the temperature exceeds 86F (30C), documentation will be provided in drug accountability records.  Study sponsors will be contacted if necessary.  Limited space is available for storing drugs at 2-8 C, -20 C, and -80 C.  Within range documentation is provided daily.  UAB Central Plant & Utilities electronically monitors these units, refrigerators and freezers are on emergency power circuits and UAB Hospital Maintenance is available 24 hours day to respond to problems.  A pharmacist is paged if the unit temperature is “out of range”.  Study sponsors will be notified if necessary.

Shipping Address for Investigational Drugs managed by UAB Hospital Department of Pharmacy:  

IDS Pharmacy
North Pavilion, Room 3470
1802 6th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35249
Phone: 205-934-7191 Fax: 205-975-6647

Subject Enrollment

In order to ensure that drug supplies are available at the time a subject is enrolled, the investigator or the designee must contact the investigational drug pharmacist when screening candidates for a study.

Drug Handling Activities

Prior to dispensing, the pharmacist(s) must be notified in writing of the patient’s enrollment and will be provided a written “order”.  Drug storage, inventory maintenance, preparation, and dispensing activities are protocol-specific.  Documentation of dispensing will be maintained in the pharmacy until after the study is closed.  Records will be transferred to the investigator after the completion of the study.

Destruction of Drugs

Immediately after a dose or a prescription is prepared and dispensed, supplies used in the preparation are handled as hazardous waste.  Hazardous wastes at UAB are incinerated by the UAB Incinerator.  The incinerator location is 221 14th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35294.  Hazardous wastes will not be stored or saved for an audit.  Unused drugs supplies may be destroyed at the UAB Incinerator.  A destruction fee will be assessed.


In order to cover the costs of existing operations and meet changing expectations, fees will be changing in 2014.  When Human Use studies are reviewed the current fees that are recognized as applicable will be posted on the Release of Drugs for Human Use Form (FOR217).

For questions related to fees please contact: 

Michael H. Geerts, Pharm.D. UAB Medicine, Department of Pharmacy
Work- (205) 934-7865     Email-