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Oral anticancer medicines in acute oncology; recognition by non-specialist clinicians and risk reduction measures


Objective This study investigated the awareness of non-oncology specialist medical staff about commonly used oral anticancer medicines (OAMs).

Methods Interviews conducted with a range of non-oncology specialist doctors.

Results The recognition of OAMs was poor by all grades of doctors, with capecitabine being the only drug recognised by more than half the doctors (26 of 40; 65%). Consultant medical staff scored significantly better than most junior grades of staff.

Conclusions A barrier to safe patient care appears to be the initial identification of OAMs on acute admission. Once a drug had been identified as an OAM, doctors are aware that they should not prescribe it and should contact the acute oncology service for advice. A range of measures has been introduced to improve the identification of OAMs by doctors.


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