Chemotherapy dose standardisation

National dose banding tables

The Chemotherapy Dose Standardisation initiative has been developed by NHS England’s Medicine Optimisation and Chemotherapy CRGs. NHS England is supporting the standardisation of chemotherapy doses which will deliver benefits for patients, Hospital Trusts and achieve improved value from our investment in chemotherapy services.

Historically when patients received chemotherapy intravenously their dose would be based on a combination of their height and weight and would mean that pharmacies would waste any medicine left over from vials containing fixed doses. A number of hospitals have already moved to a system of dose banding where a range of doses are delivered to closely match to vial size. This means there is reduced waste and as these doses tend to be ready made it also reduces the waiting time for patients within the chemotherapy unit.

The National Dose Banding Tables are to be used by Hospital Trust Pharmacy Teams to ensure a standard approach to dose banding of Chemotherapy across all Hospital Trusts. The initiative is initially focussed on 19 commonly used drugs. This will help the NHS achieve improved value through the ability to purchase standard off the shelf products.

Dose banded chemotherapy standardised product specifications

NHS England has published the first set of product specifications to support the production and supply of ready-made chemotherapy medicines. This supports the chemotherapy dose standardisation programme and the utilisation of standard chemotherapy doses. The specifications will be utilised by procurement teams to ensure the NHS will purchase standard, readymade products across the NHS in England. The scheme provides benefits for patients with ready to use products and drives safety throughout the system by standardising the products that are used. In addition, it provides benefits to Trusts and commissioners in reducing waste.