Risk management of in-hospital administration of anticancer drugs: impact of Raccomandazione 14 from the Italian Ministry of Health



The different stages of antineoplastic agent management build up a complex process, from supply to prescription, preparation, and administration. All steps in this process must be carefully monitored in order to control/reduce the risk of errors that can impact on patient safety. This work overviews the prevention of medication errors in oncology, including regulatory and legislative frameworks with specific reference to the Raccomandazione 14 (Recommendation 14) issued by the Italian Ministry of Health.


We searched the literature for types, causes, and contributing factors of medication errors during administration of antineoplastic agents. International guidelines and recommendations were examined, with specific focus on the Raccomandazione 14.


Medication errors may occur along the entire therapeutic process, involving physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and other healthcare providers. A computerized prescribing system combined with a clinical decision support system helps physicians in minimizing prescribing errors. Hospital pharmacists play a crucial role in preventing inpatient prescription errors and in managing storage, dispensing, and compounding of the anticancer drugs. The Italian Ministry of Health issued the Raccomandazione 14 to provide the Italian health system with shared univocal procedures for anticancer drug supply, compounding, storage, prescription, and administration. Other themes addressed are patient and family involvement, humanization of cancer care, and training and accountability of the personnel involved.


The most effective means of managing the risk of medication errors remains prevention, which lies on the systematic documentation of medication errors reporting systems. All professionals of the healthcare team involved in anticancer drug management and the institutional authorities are called upon to strive for any possible effort to prevent and eliminate medication errors.

Tumori 2016; 102(Suppl. 1): 2 - 6

Article Type: REVIEW



Antonella Casiraghi, Silvia Franzè, Paolo Rocco, Paola Minghetti

Article History


Financial support: No financial support was received for this submission.
Conflict of interest: None of the authors has conflict of interest with this submission.

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  • Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Milan, Milan - Italy

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