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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Potential drug interactions and duplicate prescriptions among cancer patients.

Riechelmann RP, Tannock IF, Wang L, et al. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2007;99:592-600.

Medication safety efforts continue to focus on minimizing drug interactions. Furthermore, an aging population and greater use of chronic medications may increase the risk of such events. This study surveyed more than 400 cancer patients and discovered that more than 25% of them were at risk for a potential drug interaction. Most cases involved non-cancer agents such as warfarin and antihypertensives. In a small number of cases, patients received duplicate prescriptions. While the authors discuss the role of clinical decision support systems in preventing these events, their findings noted only potential drug interactions and not true adverse events. A similar study reported on potential drug interactions in hospitalized cancer patients.