The Cost-Saving Effect of a Centralized Unit for Anticancer Drugs Processing at the Oncology Department of Tirana

AuthorArtan Shkoza Mirlinda Likmeta Ledjan Malaj
PositionUniversity of Medicine, Tirana, Albania
IIPCCL Publishing, Tirana-Albania
Academic Journal of Business, Administration, Law and Social Sciences Vol. 1 No. 3
November 2015
ISSN 2410-3918
Acces online at
The Cost-Saving Effect of a Centralized Unit for Anticancer Drugs Processing
at the Oncology Department of Tirana
M.D. Artan Shkoza
University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania
Msc. Mirlinda Likmeta
University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania
Prof. Ledjan Malaj
University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania
The worldwide increase in cancer prevalence has led to a substantial cost rising in Medical
Oncology. Of particular importance are highly expensive drugs used to treat various types of
cancers in developing countries like Albania. Hence, pharmacoeconomics may play an impor-
tant role in reducing the drug wastage and financial burden placed on patients, family and
society in general; of course, without adversely impacting patient’s health outcomes. Our aim
was to calculate cost-savings effect of a centralized unit, which allows residual amounts of
unused drugs to be reused by patients whose treatments are elaborated in the same working
day. We calculated in a comprehensive manner the number of saved vials (flasks) for seven
drugs generated from residual amounts of the same working day and, converted them into
cost-saving monetary value. We did not take into account prescribed drug dosages that fitted
exactly with doses contained in a vial. Over a six month period, there were: a total of 6558
prescriptions for a total of 1180 patients, a total of 1524 saved vials and, a total cost-saving of
134, 348 (•). The saved value represents 6.2 percent of the cytostatic drugs budget for 2005. Our
experience confirms the economic benefit of waste reduction and cost-savings effect due to a
centralized unit of anticancer drug processing. The centralized unit increases also the drug
traceability from preparation to patient.
Keywords: centralized unit, anticancer drug processing, cost savings, drug traceability.
Cancer is intoxicating our environment due to its morbidity, mortality and the
substantial increases of its treatment costs (Reeder & Gordon, 2006, 3-16). The
economic burden of cancer is more pronounced in developing countries where limited
resources are insufficient to and do not meet public needs on the quantity and quality
of medical services (Jufang & Huiyun, 2010, 240).
Cancer is becoming a major priority for health policies in Albania for two major reasons:
the increase of mortality and morbidity rates for a number of cancers and the delays
in diagnosis. The incidence of breast cancer in our country is about 24 -26 new cases
per 100, 000 women. Furthermore, urban areas like Tirana, are affected 3 - 4 times
more than rural ones. The Service of Oncology in University Hospital Centre “Mother
Teresa” of Tirana is the only public health structure that offers multidisciplinary
treatments for cancer patients in Albania.

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