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EAHP Position Paper on Hazardous Medicinal Products
Further increasing safety for healthcare professionals
Hazardous medicinal products are vital for the treatment of both cancerous and non-cancerous diseases. Hospital pharmacists are responsible for the preparation of these medicinal products, and like all healthcare professionals who handle and administer hazardous medicinal products, are exposed to certain risks.1 At European and national levels, several guidelines and regulations have been put in place for the protection of healthcare workers.2–5 The latest addition to these regulations is the fourth amendment of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD) that was published in March 2022.6 The amendment to the CMD requires the European Commission to develop a definition for hazardous medicinal products, establish an indicative list of them and prepare guidelines for handling these substances, particularly in hospitals, by the end of 2022. The handling of hazardous medicinal products includes activities such as proper storage, preparation, dispensing, administration, cleaning, waste management and transportation.
Hospital pharmacists are key stakeholders to be involved when creating definitions and guidelines for the products which they manage on behalf of the hospital or institution. Consequently, at the end of 2020 the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) established a Special Interest Group on Hazardous Medicinal Products to better understand the classification landscape for hazardous medicinal products in Europe. EAHP’s Special Interest Group has put together comprehensive information and guidance for consideration by the European Commission and other interested parties such as national governments when developing a comprehensive approach to hazardous medicinal products.
The role of hospital pharmacists in handling hazardous medicinal products and the protection of healthcare workers
To ensure the safety of patients and staff in the handling of hazardous medicinal products, hospital pharmacists contribute to and promote their safe handling in institutions in Europe. Proactive steps need to be taken to improve the current position, support the work of hospital pharmacists and minimise the risks of hazardous medicinal products for healthcare workers and patients.
EAHP calls …
Collaborators Delegates of the 52nd EAHP General Assembly.
Contributors The position paper was approved and adopted by the delegates of the 52nd EAHP General Assembly in June 2022.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.