Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Another dangerous error

Return to PJ Online Home Page

The Pharmaceutical Journal Vol 264 No 7102p952
June 24, 2000 Letters

Cytotoxics

Another dangerous error

From Ms F. M. Bevan, MRPharmS, and Miss E. A. Davis, MRPharmS

SIR,-We would like to draw to the attention of the profession the extra diligence required when dispensing cytotoxic prescriptions. Further to the article "Reality and the law" (PJ, August 1, 1998, p145), we have had two incidents where potential fatalities could have occurred. In both, the drug involved was melphelan which had been prescribed on a discharge prescription with specific instructions not to continue. However, in both cases the drug was re-prescribed by the general practitioner for a continuing course. In one case the error was noticed by the patient before reaching the community pharmacist. Unfortunately, the other prescription was dispensed by a community pharmacist and the patient given a month's supply, despite the British National Formulary clearly stating that courses of four to six days every four to eight weeks should be prescribed. Fortunately, the patient's family queried the prescription with the hospital and no adverse event occurred.
If community pharmacy is to win the war of minds over doctor dispensing then we must be seen to be more able than doctors to protect patients from prescription errors. We would urge all community pharmacists to confirm prescriptions for unfamiliar cytotoxic drugs with the originating hospital pharmacy.

Fiona Bevan
Principal Pharmacist Clinical Services, Countess of Chester NHS Trust, Chester
Anne Davis
Senior Clinical Pharmacist, Haematology, Countess of Chester NHS Trust, Chester

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 20001946

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

RPS publications

Pharmaceutical Press is the publishing division of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and is a leading provider of authoritative pharmaceutical information used throughout the world.

Visit rpharms.com

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Rate
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.