Nuclear pharmacy is a specialty area of pharmacy practice involved with the preparation of radioactive materials to improve and promote health through the safe and effective use of radioactive drugs to diagnose and treat specific disease states and conditions. The course is fairly new in africa, with few universities offering it. The course is not offered in any of the kenyan universities.
The main role of a nuclear pharmacist is to compound radiopharmaceuticals for nuclear medicine departments and outpatient diagnostic clinics. The potential for employment is good because of the few pharmacists that choose to specialize in this area.
Where do nuclear Pharmacists work?
There are two main types of environments where nuclear pharmacists deploy their skills.
One of the environments is in an institutional nuclear pharmacy. This is usually linked to a major medical center/hospital where preparations are made on-site.
The other environment is a commercial centralized nuclear pharmacy where radiopharmaceuticals are prepared and then delivered to the hospital and/or clinic. While the quantity of radiopharmaceuticals used is relatively small in both settings, nuclear pharmacists must complete additional training in radiation safety regarding the compounding, preparation, and delivery of radioactive materials.
One thing to note though is that most nuclear pharmacists, whether commercial or hospital-based, practice in a laboratory environment.