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Indian J Cancer. 2019 Apr-Jun;56(2):146-150. doi: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_169_18.

Financial audit of wastage of anticancer drugs: Pilot study from a tertiary care center in India.

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Department of Pharmacology, Mangalore Institute of Oncology, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.
Department of Father Muller Medical College Hospital, Mangalore Institute of Oncology, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Mangalore Institute of Oncology, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.
Father Muller Research Centre, Mangalore Institute of Oncology, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.



Drug wastage is a major concern in oncology where costs of antineoplastic drugs are exorbitant, and the disposal of toxic drugs increases the chances of occupational hazards to healthcare and sanitary workers and environmental pollution at the site of disposal. The principal objective of this study was to ascertain the extent of drug wastage and calculate its financial costs.


This was a prospective pilot study conducted to ascertain the quantity of drug wastage in a tertiary care hospital. This pilot study was conducted in day care and inpatient facilities in February 2016. The prescription of cytotoxic drugs, recommended dose, the quantity used, and remainder (waste) left were recorded from the nurses and pharmacy files of the hospital. Cost evaluation of the actual use and the waste was undertaken and an audit was conducted to understand in which anticancer drug the maximum wastage was generated.


The results of this study indicated that 6.1% of the total amount of reconstituted drugs was wasted. The highest drug wastage was observed in trastuzumab (29.55%), followed by etoposide (20.4%), dacarbazine (17.14%), daunorubicin (16.67%), and carboplatin (11.29%). Cost analysis showed that the total cost of the drug issued during the study period was Rs. 1,294,975 and the cost of drug wastage amounted to Rs. 143,820 (11.1%).


To the best of authors' knowledge, this is the first study from India and the results indicate that the financial impact of anticancer drug wastage was substantial. Attempts should be directed at minimizing the wastage and cost savings without risking patients' treatment regimen and administering effective dose schedule.


Anticancer; antineoplastic drugs; reconstitution; wastage

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