International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 892–895 | Cite as

Computer-assisted management of unconsumed drugs as a cost-containment strategy in oncology

  • Renaud RespaudEmail author
  • Jean-François Tournamille
  • Gael Saintenoy
  • Claude Linassier
  • Claire Elfakir
  • Marie-Claude Viaud-Massuard
  • Daniel Antier
Short Research Report


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 



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.


No funding.

Conflicts of interest

We have no conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renaud Respaud
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jean-François Tournamille
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gael Saintenoy
    • 1
  • Claude Linassier
    • 3
  • Claire Elfakir
    • 4
  • Marie-Claude Viaud-Massuard
    • 1
  • Daniel Antier
    • 2
  1. 1.UMR CNRS 7292/EA 6306Université de ToursToursFrance
  2. 2.Service PharmacieCHRU de ToursToursFrance
  3. 3.Service d’OncologieCHRU de ToursToursFrance
  4. 4.Institut de Chimie Organique et Analytique (ICOA) – UMR CNRS 7311Université d’OrléansOrléansFrance

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