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Pharmacy Manufacturing & Technical Services

Pharmacy Manufacturing

Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital each have their own manufacturing unit. With Cheltenham focusing on Adult Oncology and Gloucester on TPN and Paediatric Oncology and non-sterile products.

The Pharmacy manufacturing units are involved in the preparation of medicines that are not available commercially in a ready-to-use format. The majority of this work is concerned with aseptic preparation. This is the preparation and supply of products that must be completely sterile before administration to the patient. In order for this to be achieved they are made within special isolators which are supplied with filtered air. The majority of aseptically prepared items are either Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) or chemotherapy.


These contain all the essential nutrients to sustain a patient if they are unable to eat food in the normal way. TPN bags containing carbohydrates, fats and salts in a 1.5 litre formulation are purchased. These standard bags then have vitamins, trace elements and extra minerals added as necessary.


Cytotoxic drugs are used in the treatment of cancer. They are supplied in a ready-to-use form to the ward which means that staff are not exposed to the toxic nature of the medicine. By working within the controlled environment of the aseptic suite the pharmacy operators are also protected whilst preparing the medication. A variety of devices are made (5-Fu Walkmeds / Accufusors) which means patients are able to complete chemotherapy at home, without a stay in hospital.

Extemporaneous Preparation

Whilst most medicines are commercially available, some dosage forms cannot be purchased from large companies. Extemporaneous preparation describes the work involved in supplying a medicine in a form or dose that is not otherwise available. The technical services departments across both sites are involved in the manufacture of:

  • Liquid formulations
  • Eye drops
  • Creams
  • Ointments

Quality Control

Deals with all aspects of quality control within the pharmacy manufacturing and purchasing sections. Advice is given on COSHH (control of substances hazardous to health), medical gases and complaints regarding faulty drug products and sundries.