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Medicines policy

Medicines currently play a fundamental role in healthcare, particularly in the field of oncology. The provision of quality healthcare to cancer patients and the decisions made in regard to medicines are being subjected to a series of factors, such as the recent development of new drugs and therapeutic targets, the increase in the use of drugs, contradictory literature on results, an increase in the cost of medicines and the increase in patient expectations.

Against this backdrop, the ICO, within its strategic processes, defines and promotes a medicines policy based on rational use. The execution of this policy is carried out by:

  1. Drawing up directives based on criteria of evidence and efficiency, mainly through the actions of the Pharmacotherapy Committee and the designing of clinical practice guidelines (ICOPraxis)
  2. Implementation of directives
  3. Assessment of health results
  4. Networking and collaboration
  5. The pillars on which these objectives are carried out are professional participation and the pharmacy units


In drawing up directives based on criteria of evidence and efficiency, the medicines selection process is included as the step prior to the development of protocols and clinical guidelines.

According to the WHO, the selection of medicines is a continuous, multidisciplinary and participative process that must be carried out based on the efficacy, safety, quality and cost of medicines, the purpose of which is to ensure the rational use of medicines.

The selection of medicines is necessary both in terms of the imperative need to ensure patients' access to medicines under the appropriate quality and safety conditions and the objective of implementing a global strategy for the use of medicines at the Institute.


The fundamental attributes of the medicines selection process must be:

1.      Relevance. The impact of the medicines selection policy is of significant social relevance from the point of view of the efficiency of the health system

2.      Participation. The selection must be considered a multidisciplinary process.

3.      Transparency. It is fundamental that all the processes involved in the selection of medicines be completely transparent. The impact of the decisions makes this ethical reflection mandator.


The Pharmacotherapy Committee (CFT) is the technical body of the hospital healthcare team, an advisor to ICO Management on all aspects related to the use of medicines.

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