Questions About the Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs? ASCO Has Answers.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released a new frequently asked questions (FAQs) document on the safe handling of hazardous drugs, including those used to treat individuals with cancer, as a resource for its members. The FAQ document focuses on the current hazardous drug safe handling standards from the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The document also highlights ASCO’s work for the oncology community on the issue, including its own standards for the safe handling of hazardous drugs, which were released in early 2019.
The information in the FAQs represent ASCO’s opinions on the best practices for its members. However, current standards for safely handling hazardous drugs remain in flux. Different states and accrediting organizations may adopt certain standards in whole, in part, or not at all. As such, ASCO recommends working with legal counsel to interpret what guidelines are appropriate in a particular location and circumstance.
ASCO will continue to provide, support, and promote research, guidance, and educational materials that help ensure the safety of the oncology workforce professionals who handle or could otherwise come into contact with hazardous drugs.