The partnership, which American company RxE2 claims to be the “first pharmacy dispensing service for clinical drug trials in the European Union and the United Kingdom”, will see independent pharmacy group Newdays involved in dispensing medicines to clinical trial patients.
Following a request to ship a medication, Newdays will dispense it “directly to the respective study patients in the UK and the EU”, RxE2 said in a joint statement announcing the partnership on July 29.
The pharmacists at Newday’s will also be in “regular communication” with study participants. “to ensure proper receipt, storage, and use of the medication,” RxE2 said.
Olivier Picard, owner of the four-strong Newdays Pharmacy group in Berkshire, said in the statement that he believes the service, which will be paid for by the clinical trial sponsors, will “become the new normal for clinical trials in the coming years”, once sponsors have realised the many benefits community pharmacists can bring to ongoing studies”.
“Pharmacists are medication experts and are ideally placed to help with drug dispensing on behalf of clinical trial sponsors,” he added.
Model “brings the pharmacist front and centre”
Although no trials started begun yet, chief executive officer Gerald Finken told C+D last month (August 21) that he “fully expects the first trials to begin before the end of the year”.
The service “brings the pharmacist front and centre with the dispensing of clinical supplies to all patients”, Mr Finken told C+D, adding that it was Mr Picard and Newdays who helped him “understand how [RxE2’s] E2 dispensing concept could be easily built into the current practice of pharmacy model for the UK and for the EU”.
Once a trial begins, Newdays will play its part by posting prescriptions – both drugs and placebos – to patients, before “following up with patients the day after [the medication is] posted”, Mr Picard told C+D last month (August 18).
Mr Picard also highlighted that the extra income generated from a service such as this could really “make a difference” to a small independent pharmacy such as his own.