Chemotherapy Preparation

Community pharmacy serves a vital role in the delivery of chemotherapy medicines to Australians undergoing lifesaving treatment, often in rural and remote areas.  Survival rates depend on treatment and many community pharmacists provide services aimed at supporting cancer patients, including chemotherapy preparation.

The Cancer Council of Australia estimates nearly 135,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year, with that number set to rise to 150,000 by 2020.

It is the leading cause of death in Australia and at present about 17,500 more people die each year from cancer than 30 years ago.

Chemotherapy preparation is a specialist service and pharmacies involved in chemotherapy preparation have a special preparation area inside a sterile room.

The person preparing the chemotherapy wears special protective clothing which is designed to make sure the chemotherapy is not contaminated.

The pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are especially trained to check your prescription to ensure that the treatment is suitable and the dose is appropriate for you.

In addition, the pharmacist may check other tests you have had including blood tests, as well as asking about any other medicines you may be taking.

When the pharmacist has completed investigating and ensuring the prescription is correct and appropriate, the chemotherapy can be prepared in the sterile area.

Some sites may send an order for your chemotherapy to be prepared by a special external manufacturing facility.

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