Clinical and economic impact of clinical oncology pharmacy in cancer patients receiving injectable anticancer treatments: a systematic review

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2023 Aug;149(10):7905-7924. doi: 10.1007/s00432-023-04630-4. Epub 2023 Feb 28.


Purpose: Clinical pharmacy can reduce drug-related iatrogenesis by improving the management of adverse effects of drugs, limiting drug-drug interactions, and improving patient adherence. Given the vulnerability of cancer patients and the toxicity of injectable anticancer drugs, clinical pharmacy service (CPS) could provide a significant clinical benefit in cancer care. This review aims to synthesize existing evidence on clinical pharmacy's impact on patients treated with intravenous anticancer drugs.

Methods: A comprehensive search was performed in the PubMed/Medline database from January 2000 to December 2021, associating the keywords: clinical pharmacy, pharmaceutical care, pharmacist, oncology, and chemotherapy. To be eligible for inclusion, studies have to report clinical pharmaceutical services for patients treated with intravenous chemotherapy with a clinical and/or economic impact.

Results: Forty-one studies met the selection criteria. Various CPS were reported: medication reconciliation, medication review, and pharmaceutical interview with patient. There was a lack of randomized study (n = 3; 7.3%). In one randomized controlled trial, pharmaceutical intervention significantly improved quality of life of patients receiving pharmaceutical care during injectable anticancer drugs courses. Economical results appear to show positive impact of clinical pharmacy with cost savings reported from 3112.87$ to 249 844€. Although most studies were non-comparative, they highlighted that clinical pharmacy tend to limit chemotherapy side effects and drug-related problems, improve quality of life and satisfaction of patients and healthcare professional, and a positive economic impact.

Conclusion: Clinical pharmacy can reduce adverse drug events in cancer patients. More robust and economic evaluations are still required to support its development in everyday practice.

Keywords: Cancer; Clinical pharmacist; Clinical pharmacy; Injectable anticancer drugs.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital*
  • Pharmacy*
  • Quality of Life


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations