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Einstein (São Paulo)

Print version ISSN 1679-4508On-line version ISSN 2317-6385


AGUIAR, Karina da Silva et al. Patient safety and the value of pharmaceutical intervention in a cancer hospital. Einstein (São Paulo) [online]. 2018, vol.16, n.1, eAO4122.  Epub May 07, 2018. ISSN 2317-6385.


To demonstrate economic impact of pharmaceutical evaluation in detection and prevention of errors in antineoplastic prescriptions.


This was an observational and retrospective study performed in a cancer hospital. From July to August 2016 pharmacists checked prescriptions of antineoplastic and adjuvant drugs. Drug-related problems observed were classified and analyzed concerning drug, pharmaceutical intervention, acceptability and characteristic of the error. In case of problem related to dose, we calculated a deviation percentage related with correct dose and value spent or saved. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics with frequency and percentage.


A total of 6,104 prescriptions and 12,128 medications were evaluated. Drug-related problems were identified in 274 (4.5%) prescriptions. Most of them was due to lack of information (n=117; 36.1%). Problems associated with dose accounted for 32.1% (n=98) of the total. In 13 cases (13.3%) ranging of prescribed dose was 50% greater than the correct dose. Intercepted drug-related problems provided savings of R$54.081,01 and expenses of R$20.863,36, therefore resulting in a positive balance of R$33.217,65. Each intervention promoted saving of R$126,78 with an acceptance rate of 98%. Main pharmaceutical interventions were information inclusion (n=117; 36.1%) and dose change (n=97; 29.9%). All errors were classified as error with no harm.


Simple actions such as prescription checking are able to identify and prevent drug-related problems, avoid financial losses and add immeasurable value to patient safety.

Keywords : Economics, pharmaceutical; Pharmaceutical services; Medication errors; Drug prescriptions; Antineoplastic agents; Oncology service, hospital.

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