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Key factors underlying willingness of oncology patients to engage in medication redispensing: a qualitative study

  • At: PPR SIG 2021 (2021)
  • Type: Digital
  • By: SMALE, Lisa-Marie (Radboud university medical center, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Department of Pharmacy, Nijmegen, The Netherlands., Netherlands)
  • Co-author(s): E.M. Smale (1), A.C.G. Egberts (2,3), E.R. Heerdink (2,3,4), B.J. F. van den Bemt (4), C.L. Bekker (1). Affiliation (1) Radboud university medical center, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Department of Pharmacy, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. (2) University Medical Centre Utrecht, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Division of Laboratory and Pharmacy, Utrecht, The Netherlands. (3) Utrecht University, Faculty of Science, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Clinical Pharmacology, Utrecht, The Netherlands. (4) Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, Research Group Innovations of Pharmaceutical Care, Utrecht, The Netherlands. (5) Sint Maartenskliniek, Department of Pharmacy, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
  • Abstract:


    Redispensing medication unused by patients could potentially reduce the financial loss and environmental pollution caused by medication waste, particularly for expensive medication such as oral anticancer drugs. To achieve medication redispensing patients’ engagement is required.


    Identifying key factors underlying oncology patients’ willingness to engage in the redispensing of unused oral anticancer drugs.


    Semi-structured interviews via telephone or video call were conducted with adult oncology patients from two Dutch hospitals in 2020. The interview guide was framed using the COM-B model for behavioural change, to elicit patients\’ capability, opportunity and motivation to engage in medication redispensing. Questions related to: patients’ willingness to accept redispensed medication, reasons thereof, and perceived concerns and needs. Inductive thematic analysis was applied.


    Seventeen patients (aged 38 - 82 years, 70% female), suffering eight different types of cancer participated. The majority of participants supported medication redispensing. Four categories of key factors underlying oncology patients’ willingness to engage in medication redispensing were identified. First, perception of social relevance was identified as the driver for engaging in medication redispensing. This resulted from previous frustrations with medication waste and social responsibility regarding the healthcare budget and environment. The second key factor was trust in quality, influenced by the initial perception of the quality of redispensed medication, knowledge about the quality process and advocacy by caregivers and relatives. Finally, two facilitators for engaging in medication redispensing were identified: convenient logistics, which related to return possibilities of unused medication to pharmacies, and transparent communication, about quality control, financial profits and the consequences of medication waste.


    This study shows that oncology patients want to engage in medication redispensing with a drive for achieving positive societal impact and a need for high-quality medication, transparent communication and a convenient process as underlying key factors.

Last update 4 October 2019

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