Background The indicatons for rituximab in haematology are classified into 3 categories: group 1: indications for which the medicine was initially marketed (MA), group 2: additional recommendations for temporary use (RTU), and group 3: indications that are not authorised or are lacking sufficient documentation for authorisation by the French Medicines Agency (ANSM), but for which the medicine can be used based on the literature and recommendations. We have a prescription form in which all of the drug’s indications authorised by the ANSM (group 1 and 2) are already written and classified, to encourage safe use of medicines.
Purpose To check if rituximab prescriptions for these indications reflect the actual use of the drug.
Material and methods For each prescription of rituximab from January to April 2014, we compared the indication on the prescription to the one in the patient’s files (multidisciplinary meetings reports and discharge letters). Every indication was classified by group and we analysed the divergence.
Results In our cohort of 52 patients, 80.8% were in prescription group 1, 3.8% in prescription group 2, and 15.4% in prescription group 3. We calculated a 25% divergence between the prescribed indication and the actual one. 16.66% of prescription group 1 and 100% of prescription group 2 indications were in reality group 3 indications. 52.94% of real group 3 prescriptions were not declared as such.
Conclusion This study might question the safety of prefilled prescriptions because doctors might supply incomplete information and pharmacists might therefore approve dispensing of this medicine for incorrect indications. In order to improve safety, we suggest a new kind of prescription form in which all of the medicine’s indications are written without being classified and with more blank spaces to allow the doctor to give additional information about the chemotherapy, the state of the cancer and the number of relapses.
References and/or acknowledgements Thanks to my supervisors for their support and advice.
No conflict of interest.
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