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Opportunities for improvement shown for pharmacists dealing with patients on oral chemotherapy

03 Oct 2019

A recent study has underscored ways for pharmacists to improve treatment of patients newly initiated on oral chemotherapy.

“Opportunities exist to increase patient education, ensure appropriate follow-up and assess adherence while preventing and managing treatment-related toxicities,” the investigators said.

A total of 100 patient charts in an outpatient cancer centre were reviewed. Median time to oral chemotherapy receipt by the patient from the day the order was given was 8 days. Of the patients, 27 percent received education from a clinical pharmacist before treatment initiation.

The provider carried out toxicity checks at 30, 60 and 90 days for 80 percent, 65 percent and 48 percent of patients, respectively. Seventy-nine percent of patients reported treatment-related toxicities secondary to oral chemotherapy, of which 55 percent were classified as severe. Potential drug interactions presented in 55 percent of the patients.

This single-centre, retrospective chart review was conducted to estimate the prevalence of drug-related problems among patients treated with oral chemotherapy agents. Those prescribed oral chemotherapy between 1 January 2017 and 31 August 2017 were included.

The incidence of drug-related toxicities within 90 days of treatment initiation was the primary endpoint, while secondary endpoint included incidence of drug–drug interactions, proportion of patients receiving medication education by a clinical pharmacist and quantification of issues related to medication access.

“Although oral chemotherapy offers advantages over intravenous chemotherapy, it creates a unique set of challenges,” the investigators noted. “Potential barriers include treatment complexity, patient responsibility for medication adherence and monitoring, reduced healthcare contact, and increased financial burden.”

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Most Read Articles
Jairia Dela Cruz, 3 days ago
Metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) leads to large and sustained reductions in, and even reversal of, multiple risk factors for future joint disease in adolescents with severe obesity and musculoskeletal pain, according to data from the Teen Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery study.
Pearl Toh, 31 Dec 2019
Adding the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir to usual care speeds up recovery from influenza-like illness by a day compared with usual care alone, with even greater benefits seen in older, sicker patients with comorbidities, according to the ALIC4E study.
23 Dec 2019
At a Menarini-sponsored symposium held during the Asian Pacific Society Congress, renowned cardiologist Prof John Camm provided the latest evidence for chronic stable angina with or without concomitant diseases, with a special focus on the antianginal agent ranolazine and combination therapies. The event was chaired and moderated by Dr Dante Morales from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine.
Pearl Toh, 6 days ago
Obeticholic acid significantly improves fibrosis and disease activity in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a chronic liver disease currently with no approved therapy, according to an interim analysis of the landmark REGENERATE* study.