Background The pharmacy laboratory of oncology drugs compounding of the University Hospital of Ancona runs about 20000 preparations per year. Thanks to the collaboration with Loccioni Group, the process of work automatisation started in 2007 with the introduction of a first robot for chemotherapy compounding. The following years were devoted to develop and validate the system, increase the number of drugs handled and enlarge the productivity. At the end of 2009 a new generation of robotised system was introduced into the Pharmacy with the objective of setting the first totally automated laboratory by the end of 2010.
Purpose To evaluate the work of the last four years.
Materials and methods The 2007-2009 data are analysing by combining the APOTECAchemo database with the clinical database of the Pharmacy. Since 2010, the two database were merged into the same platform in order to make the data mining much simpler.
Results The authors starting with 5 active ingredients in September 2007 and now APOTECAchemo handles 56 oncology molecules, which correspond to more than 160 different vials. The production rate of the system passed from 3400 in 2008 to 6600 in 2009 and 16300 in 2010. In the first 9 months of 2011 The authors already produced 14200 units and The authors expect to overcome 19000 preparations delivered by the end of 2011.
Conclusions The automated production of the cancer therapies is a matter of fact: the percentage of work daily covered by automation was around 80% in 2010 and is about 95% at the moment (Oct 11). 100% of the therapies compounded with the robot are certified and each compounding step is fully traced. This represents also an important protection of the work under the pharmacist's responsibility.
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