NPSA Highlights Risk Of Oral Anticancer Drugs

April 2017

Cancer

Country of origin: UK

All healthcare staff need to monitor oral anticancer drugs to the same extent as injected anticancer drugs, according to a new report by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA). The NPSA received reports of three deaths and 400 patient safety incidents concerning oral anticancer drugs between November 2003 and July 2007.

The NPSA report suggests that all patients receive written information about their cancer treatment, along with contact details for obtaining specialist advice. It also suggests that healthcare staff responsible for prescribing, administering or dispensing oral anticancer medicines should have access to the written protocol and treatment plan from the hospital in which treatment was initiated.

Geoff Saunders, chairman of the British Oncology Pharmacy Association (BOPA), commented: ?Some cancer networks already have a good flow of information from the specialist hospitals. However, this does not happen everywhere, so some smaller hospitals will need to contact the local cancer network to ensure this information is passed on.?

The report asks for immediate action from all NHS care providers that prescribe, administer or dispense oral anticancer drugs, with action to be completed by 22 July 2008. BOPA expects to launch a toolkit in the next few weeks to help implement the changes.

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