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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Nuclear pharmacy

Nuclear Pharmacy involves the training of radioactive materials that will be used to analyze and treat specific diseases. It was the first pharmacy subject established in 1978 by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties. Nuclear pharmacy seeks to recover and promote health through the secure and valuable use of radioactive drugs for not only diagnosis but also therapy.

The thought of nuclear pharmacy was first described in 1960 by Captain William H. Briner while at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. Along with Mr. Briner, John E. Christian, who was a lecturer in the School of Pharmacy at Purdue University, had written articles and contributed in new ways to set the stage of nuclear pharmacy. William Briner started the NIH Radio pharmacy in 1958. He also brought about principles and procedures significant to the assurance of quality radiopharmaceuticals. Christian developed the first official lecture and laboratory courses in the United States for teaching the necessary principles of radioisotope applications. John Christian and William Briner were both lively on key national committees liable for the development, regulation and utilization of radiopharmaceuticals.

In the mid 1970s a petition was shaped requesting the formation of a Section on Nuclear Pharmacy in the Academy of General Practice, at present called the Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management. On April 23, 1975, the petition was lastly approved by the American Pharmacists Association Board of Trustees. Nuclear pharmacy thus became a fresh area in pharmacy.

Nuclear pharmacists work in an extra relaxed environment compared to other areas of pharmacy, such as hospital pharmacy or trade pharmacy. There is typically no interaction with customers because numerous work in a highly regulated setting where consumers are not allowed.

Although the possible for radiation exposure exists in this field, it is reserved to a minimum by the use of syringes, gloves, and other devices specially designed for radioactive materials. A nuclear pharmacist would use leaded glass shielding, leaded glass plunger shields, and lead containers while working with radioactive fabric. Hence, correct equipment and procedures reduces the risk of hurt to personnel working in a nuclear pharmacy.


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