Background Cost-containment strategies are required to deal with rising drug expenditure, also in oncology. Drug wastage related to the preparation of chemotherapy drugs for patients is costly, but solutions exist for optimizing the use of unconsumed anticancer drugs. Objective Our pharmacy department makes use of a computerized drug storage bank, which records stability data and the amounts of unconsumed drugs available, and is connected to prescription software via an interface. We aimed to evaluate the real cost savings generated by this system. Method We assessed the cost savings achieved with this system, for 37 different anticancer drugs, over a 1-year period. French drug pricing and the amounts of drugs from the storage bank potentially re-used were assessed. Results The re-use of unconsumed anticancer drugs generated substantial cost savings, for nine drugs in particular: azacitidine, bevacizumab, bortezomib, cetuximab, docetaxel, liposomal doxorubicin, rituximab, topotecan and trastuzumab. Overall cost savings accounted for about 5 % of total anticancer drug expenditure at our hospital (€8.5 M). Conclusion In medical hematology-oncology, drug wastage reduction and a computerized physician order entry system could be applied in routine practice at centralized drug-processing units, with significant financial benefits.
Anticancer drugs Cost-savings Drug wastage France Hospital Pharmacy Unconsumed drugs
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We would like to thank the pharmacy of Tours University for their cooperation. We also thank Julie Sappa, of Alex Edelman and Associates, for assistance with the translation of this manuscript.
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