Comprehensive program for handling hazardous drugs

D. M. Arrington, M. A. McDiarmid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Development and implementation of a comprehensive program for safe handling of hazardous drugs is described. A comprehensive, multidisciplinary program for handling hazardous drugs was developed at a 1000-bed tertiary care, university teaching institution. Hazardous drugs were identified by a hazardous-drug working group consisting of occupational health professionals, pharmacists, and an industrial hygienist. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 1986 handling guidelines were used as a template, with input solicited from pharmacy staff and from other institutions. A new system for receiving, storing, and transporting hazardous drugs-which also included new labeling for such drugs-was implemented. The new guidelines were discussed with the staff, with emphasis placed on absolute compliance and incorporation of the guidelines into standard operating procedures and daily pharmacy practices. All pharmacy employees underwent retraining to ensure complete understanding. A voluntary medical surveillance program for pharmacy employees was developed concomitantly to monitor exposure to genotoxic hazardous drugs. Implementation of a comprehensive program for safe handling of hazardous drugs increased employee understanding of the need for such a program and improved the hospital's compliance with recent OSHA regulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1170-1174
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993


  • Administration
  • Antineoplastic agents
  • Drug distribution systems
  • Education, pharmaceutical
  • Guidelines
  • Labeling
  • Personnel, pharmacy
  • Pharmacy, institutional, hospital
  • Safety
  • Storage
  • Toxicity, environmental

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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