The Aseptic Unit in the Pharmacy Department supports the St Luke’s Cancer Centre by manufacturing chemotherapy injectable medicines in a sterile environment.
Injectable medicines are also manufactured for other clinical areas e.g. ophthalmology, gastroenterology, rheumatology and paediatrics.
In the Aseptic Unit, a sterile environment is created though a number of different measures:
Design of the unit (e.g. the air is filtered to reduce airborne contaminants)
Special clothing (the operators wear special hats, gloves, coats and shoes)
Decontamination of surface of raw materials
Isolators (injectable medicines are manufactured in a sealed unit to protect the operator from the chemotherapy and to prevent contamination of the product).
Strict procedures are also followed to ensure accuracy. Checks are carried out at every stage of the manufacturing process:
The prescription, worksheet, labels, active drug and diluent are checked.
A second trained member of staff is present whilst the drug is being dispensed in the isolator, to check the volumes drawn up.
A final check of the product is carried out before it can be released for use.
The Aseptic Unit is monitored regularly by the regulatory agency to ensure that high standards are maintained.