Background Ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) (Ferinject) is a new parenteral iron used to treat iron deficiency anaemia. Infusion modalities are different from ferric hydroxide sucrose complex (FHSC), formerly used in our hospital until July 2012. In particular, for FCM, the infusion takes 15 min (or less at doses below 500 mg), instead of 90 min for FHSC (for which shorter infusion times may be dangerous). Despite the higher cost of FCM and the lack of recommendations from our National Health Agency, we have decided, to avoid medicines errors, to keep Ferinject only on the hospital formulary.
Purpose To discover the approach followed by other Parisian Public Assistance Hospitals (AP-HP) (n = 40) to avoid the risk of confusion between the different forms of parenteral iron.
Materials and Methods In October 2012, a questionnaire was developed to assess 3 items: the type of parenteral iron on the hospital formulary, methods of dispensing and occurrence of medicines errors. Hospital pharmacists were phoned to answer the survey.
Results Of the 30 pharmacists who responded, 14 referenced FCM and 16 did not; 11/14 stocked both FCM and FHSC. Three pharmacists had opted to keep FCM only. In 50% of hospitals in which FCM was available, it had to be prescribed by the brand name and checked by a pharmacist. Two hospitals of the 14 had reserved FCM for specific wards. To the best of their knowledge of pharmacists who answered the survey, no iron administration error had occurred in their hospitals.
Conclusions This study shows that choice of parenteral iron is not homogeneous in the different hospitals of AP-HP. We suggest that the risk of medication errors, when FCM and FHSC are both present in the same hospital, could be underestimated.
No conflict of interest.