Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Pharmacy manufacturing unit delivers lifesaving treatment

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The Hon Yvette D’Ath, Minister for Health and Ambulance Services (Qld), Media Release, 10 June 2022

A lifesaving $6.75 million laboratory at Townsville Hospital is manufacturing medications for North Queensland patients.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Service Yvette D’Ath visited the pharmacy manufacturing unit today, which allows lifesaving care to be delivered closer to home.

‘‘The laboratory produces about 5000 medications a year for patients requiring bone marrow transplants, oncology treatment, clinical trials, autoimmune conditions and intensive care,’’ Minister D’Ath said.

“Medications produced in this laboratory can have a shelf life of as little as one hour which means the only way to administer them to patients is to produce them on site.

“Without this facility hundreds of patients would have to travel to Brisbane for care.

“The laboratory played a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 with a dedicated team producing life-saving medicines, such as Sotrovimab, on site here in Townsville.’’

Townsville Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Kieran Keyes said the production of drugs was like following a recipe while cooking for the family at home.

“Each of the drugs we produce has a recipe, or a batch sheet, that our pharmacy team follow to produce the end product,” he said.

“The difference between manufacturing medication and cooking the family dinner is rarely do your ingredients cost up to $50,000.

“Also, instead of a kitchen, the pharmacy manufacturing unit has an incredibly complex mechanical engineering system which ensures the medications are produced safely.”

The new laboratory has three manufacturing rooms each complete with an antechamber that staff need to enter to put on personal protective equipment.

Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said: “This facility is another example of the Palaszczuk Government delivering health services which allow North Queenslanders to get the care they need closer to home.”

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