Robot-assisted preparation of oncology drugs: the role of nurses

Int J Pharm. 2012 Dec 15;439(1-2):286-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2012.09.022. Epub 2012 Sep 24.


Since 2007, the preparation of cancer drugs at the Pharmacy of the University Hospital of Ancona has been progressively robotized. Currently, the process of preparation of intravenous cancer drugs is almost totally automated (95%). At present, the Cytotoxic laboratory of Ancona is the sole, in Europe, that can count on two robots. The robots handle 56 oncology molecules, which correspond to more than 160 different vials. The production rate in 2011 exceeded 19,000 preparations. The quality of compounding and the sterility controls are satisfactory, every step of the process is traceable. The nursing staff played a fundamental role in the robot development process. The nursing staff and the pharmacists are still collaborating with the robotic engineers in order to increase efficiency, ergonomics and user-friendliness of the robots.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents*
  • Drug Compounding / methods*
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Nurses
  • Professional Role
  • Robotics*
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical


  • Antineoplastic Agents