einstein (São Paulo). 19/Apr/2018;16(1):eAO4122.

Patient safety and the value of pharmaceutical intervention in a cancer hospital

Karina da Silva Aguiar, Jamile Machado dos Santos, Mônica Cristina Cambrussi, Solane Picolotto, Marcela Bechara Carneiro

DOI: 10.1590/S1679-45082018AO4122



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.

Patient safety and the value of pharmaceutical intervention in a cancer hospital