Contamination by Cytostatic Drugs in Pharmacies – Methods of Evaluation

8 November 2010

R. Schierl Institute for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine,
Munich University, Munich, Germany
(Director Prof. D. Nowak, M.D.)

Safety precautions for cytostatic drugs are still important in order to ensure a safe product for patients and a low risk handling for pharmacy personnel as well. Wipe sampling has been accepted as a tool to detect contaminations and was performed in our Institute since the year 2000 (results presented at GERPAC 2007).

Now it is time to assess the database in order to achieve general recommendation values. Therefore, we evaluated results from 1237 samples for fluorouracil (FU) and 1008 samples for platinum (PT as marker for Cis-, Carbo- Oxaliplatin). We developed a “traffic-light” classification system which allows simple presentation of the result and classify the median (50th percentile) and the 75th percentile as threshold guidance values (TGVs):

The introduction of threshold guidance values allows pharmacy personnel not only to evaluate their own contamination levels but also to benchmark with other pharmacies. This would help to reduce occupational exposure and provides a basis for improvement in occupational safety precautions and for regular contamination controls.

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