Role of pharmacists in optimizing the use of anticancer drugs in the clinical setting
Carolyn SJ Ma
Department of Pharmacy Practice, Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Honolulu, HI, USA
Abstract: Oncology pharmacists, also known as oncology pharmacy specialists (OPSs) have specialized knowledge of anticancer medications and their role in cancer. As essential member of the interdisciplinary team, OPSs optimize the benefits of drug therapy, help to minimize toxicities and work with patients on supportive care issues. The OPSs expanded role as experts in drug therapy extends to seven major key elements of medication management that include: selection, procurement, storage, preparation/dispensing, prescribing/dosing/transcribing, administration and monitoring/evaluation/education. As front line caregivers in hospital, ambulatory care, long-term care facilities, and community specialty pharmacies, the OPS also helps patients in areas of supportive care including nausea and vomiting, hematologic support, nutrition and infection control. This role helps the patient in the recovery phase between treatment cycles and adherence to chemotherapy treatment schedules essential for optimal treatment and outcome.
Keywords: oncology pharmacist, oncology pharmacy specialist, medication management, chemotherapy
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