Redispensing of expensive oral anticancer medicines: A practical application.



A systematic analysis was conducted to determine the eligibility of oral anticancer medicine for redispensing. Over a one-year period, the number of returned oral anticancer medicine accepted for redispensing was quantified, and the reduction in financial waste and environmental burden calculated based on this assessment.


Increasing use of expensive oral anticancer medicines comes with the downside of a financial and environmental burden, partially caused by unused medication. Returned oral anticancer medicine to the pharmacy could be considered for redispensing providing guaranteed quality. This study aimed to identify and implement quality aspects and criteria for redispensing oral anticancer medicine in daily pharmacy practice.


Four categories of quality aspects were identified for determining the eligibility of oral anticancer medicine for redispensing: Product presentation suitability (stability characteristics, storage requirements), physical condition (unopened or opened secondary or primary packaging, visual appearance), authentication (Falsified Medicines Directive, confirmation of initial dispense, recall), and additional aspects (remaining shelf life, period of storage in uncontrolled conditions). A standardized procedure for redispensing was implemented in daily pharmacy practice. During the study period, 10,415 oral anticancer medicine dose units out of 13,210 returns (79%) were accepted for redispensing. The total value of oral anticancer medicine accepted for redispensing was €483,301, accounting for 0.9% of the total value dispensed during this period. Furthermore, the potential reduction in environmental burden was estimated at 1132.1 g of potent active pharmaceutical ingredient.


By implementing strict procedures considering all relevant quality aspects, redispensing of oral anticancer medicine can be successfully implemented into daily pharmacy practice, resulting in a significant reduction in financial waste and environmental burden.

More about this publication

Journal of oncology pharmacy practice : official publication of the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners
  • Volume 30
  • Issue nr. 3
  • Pages 519-526
  • Publication date 01-04-2024

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