Pharmacy experts conduct comprehensive audit to ensure oncology drugs meet safe labeling standards

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A group of oncology pharmacists, technicians, compounding supervisors and buyers from across Ontario and the Maritimes were at our London office last week for an important two-day session. They came together to evaluate and score oncology medications as part of a recent RFP initiated by Mohawk Medbuy on behalf of the hospitals they represent.

“Bringing experts from our Member hospitals together for label scoring sessions is vital to the RFP process,” said Jill Craven, Vice President of Pharmacy Services at Mohawk Medbuy. “Leveraging standardized national and international guidelines, Members enhance patient safety through the procurement process, while minimizing potential misuse of pharmaceuticals.” 

Over the two days, Members conducted a comprehensive audit of oncology drug labels, containers, and other aspects of medication based on specific criteria and guidelines. The guidelines, set by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Canada, ensure optimal system safeguards and safe medication practices.

The painstaking review is part of Mohawk Medbuy’s thorough procurement process for medications used at cancer centres throughout the country. For Annie Greaves, Compounding Supervisor at Niagara Health, the opportunity to collaborate with her peers is invaluable. “I made the trip, despite the weather, because it’s important for me to have a seat at the table during this process.”

Mohawk Medbuy welcomed experts from New Brunswick, Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Kitchener, Windsor, Sarnia, Chatham, Toronto, Sudbury as well as from London. Those who were unable to make the trip, participated remotely via video conferencing. In total, 13 Members, with years of experience working with sensitive oncology medications, provided guidance in determining the best choice for their patients.

“This has been a great experience because I’m surrounded by technicians and pharmacists from hospitals across Canada,” said Greaves. “As a Member, I can share knowledge with other Members from different backgrounds. We’re getting ideas, learning about different products, and about practice changes that have been implemented.”

The results of the product evaluation process will be incorporated into the scoring of bids received for the Oncology Pharmaceuticals RFP.  Once awarded, the contracts will begin October 1, 2019.

Kara James