New EU guidance on handling Hazardous Medicinal Products (HMPs) includes the following areas where there is a risk of occupational exposure:
• Reception and unpacking
• Transport and storage
• Preparation in pharmacies, healthcare and veterinary facilities
• Administration in hospitals, other healthcare facilities, in care homes and care in homes and in veterinary clinics
• Cleaning, laundry, and maintenance
• Waste management and disposal
This survey is being undertaken to determine the level of awareness amongst workers in Ireland of the risk of exposure in the workplace to hazardous medicinal products (HMPs) and the safe handling and other measures in place to prevent exposure. The closing date for receipt of the survey is 28 July 2023.
HMPs are used to treat a wide range of medical conditions including cancer, viruses and rheumatology and include antineoplastics (cytotoxics), immunosuppressants, antivirals and some other medicines. Occupational exposure by workers to HMPs can cause hair loss, headaches, reproductive disorders, miscarriages, breast cancer, leukaemia or lymphoma. HMPs can have carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic effects in workers exposed to them, often over long periods of low-level exposure.