Background On November 12, 2009, the Valencian Health Agency ordered that certain drugs formerly available from pharmacies would from now on only be available from hospital pharmacies.
Purpose The aim of this study was to evaluate the economic impact derived from the change of dispensation of capecitabine (Xeloda ©) from the pharmacies to the hospital Pharmacies.
Materials and methods The authors analysed data of the dispensations of capecitabine made in pharmacies during 2009 and compared them with those obtained from our hospital electronic prescription program during 2010. There was no variation in the number of oncologists prescribing during both periods. Since the publication of the law, all oral cytostatic prescriptions were validated by hospital pharmacists using the same criteria as used for intravenous drugs, and the exact number of tablets needed for each cycle was dispensed.
Results During 2009, 42 patients were treated with capecitabine dispensed by pharmacies for an amount of 276,845 euros with an average annual cost of 6,752 euros per patient. During 2010, 72 patients were treated with capecitabine dispensed by the Hospital Pharmacy Service, each visit they were only given the exact number of tablets until the next cycle, for an amount of 105,215 euros with an average annual cost of 1,461 euros per patient.
Conclusions Adjusting the dose prescribed according to the patient's weight and optimising the number of tablets dispensed has decreased from 486,164 theorist euros in 2010 (6,752 euros / patient per 72 patients) to 105,215 euros, meaning a final annual saving of 380,929 euros (a whole decrease of 78.3%). The hospital pharmacist plays an important role in validating the clinical use of drugs and evaluating the economical impact of new therapies.
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