How Mayo Clinic saved $15M in annual chemotherapy drug costs

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic researchers developed new dose rounding rules that saved 9,814 vials of drug and saved more than $7 million in six months.

The study, published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, analyzed all drugs listed in the electronic health record used in injectable form for cancer treatment and developed  rounding rules that would cut waste. The rules were applied at the dose calculation stage before provider signature.

Although the rounding rules saved nearly $15 million a year, drug waste continued to be an issue when the vial size exceeded the 10 percent rounding allowance, according to the study.

Mayo Clinic researchers made the following recommendations to further reduce drug waste in a follow-up study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology:

  • Systems should reexamine the weight based dosing of drugs.

  • Mandate pharmaceutical companies to have vial sizes that more appropriately meet the range of standard dosing.

  • Develop more multidose vials that can be shared across multiple patients.

  • Utilize closed-system transfer devices to extend beyond-use-dating time.

  • Require pharmaceutical companies to reimburse payers and patients for the cost of drug wasted.

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