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Editor's Note

Oncology Medication Therapy: Are You in the Game?

Dan Steiber, RPh Specialty Pharmacy Times Editor-in-Chief
Published Online: Wednesday, May 18, 2011   [ Request Print ]

Many of the answers to this question and more lie ahead in this inaugural Specialty Pharmacy Times Oncology Special Issue.


The most prolific area of drug discovery is oncology and it is considered to be the “The Holy Grail” of specialty pharmacy. Cancer treatment or oncology medication therapy has evolved tremendously over the last decade and is more accessible to the benefits of specialty pharmacy practice.

In this third edition of Specialty Pharmacy Times, we have again tapped the “best of best” to help provide our readers with insight into a number of the dynamics focused exclusively on oncology. We delve into the role of specialty pharmacy including the integral ethical decisions that specialty pharmacy providers are challenged to make as members of the patient’s health care team.

Dr. Correia, a member of our Editorial Board, discusses how when pharmacists focus on the whole person, patients are better able to follow their treatment plan—leading to better health and lower total health care costs. Dr. Brennan and The Zitter Group provide insights into a shift from “buy and bill” to a more cost-focused delivery system of leveraging specialty pharmacy, including infused products. Rena K. Goins explores the landscape of oncology care and the curious dynamics that come into play with the interrelationships of the various oncology organizations—from treatment pathways to distribution. Furthermore, we offer practice information on Accountable Care Organizations, MedGuides, e-Prescribing, Financial Assistance Programs, and some practical insights from the specialty pharmacy “bench.”

With this special edition focused on oncology, we continue our mission: Specialty Pharmacy Times is THE journal fully committed to setting the publication standard through peer-written and reviewed articles focused on the “real world” of specialty pharmacy practice.

Oncology treatment or “chemo” has most often been exclusively an oncologist office–administered therapy. However, the pharmaceutical industry has been working hard to provide more convenient dosage forms for patients, including many self-injectables and orals, which raises the challenge of where patients will receive their medication therapy in the future. Treatment access decisions are being made based on a number of factors, including reimbursement, cost, dosage form, patient care, and supply chain requirements—and are more recently, pharmacogenomics, to name a few.

These decisions are frequently made by payers and the manufacturer and often driven by the services offered by specialty pharmacy. Which raises the question, is your pharmacy operation “in the game, or in the stands watching?” Many of the answers to this question and more lie ahead in this inaugural Specialty Pharmacy Times Oncology Edition. We invite you to enjoy this issue and pass it on!

We’d like To hear from you We welcome your feedback on this topic and on any topics you would like us to cover in future editions of Specialty Pharmacy Times. Please reach out to me at dsteiber@ pharmacytimes.com. We also encourage you and your colleagues to subscribe to this journal by logging on to www.specialtypharmacytimes.com.


Mr. Steiber is a Principal of D2 Pharma Consulting LLC (d2rx. com) and is responsible for commercial operations, tradesupply chain strategy development including 3PL selection, regulatory oversight, and “operationalizing ”organizations. Mr. Steiber has served in several senior positions in pharmacy, distribution, and industry over the course of his 35-year career. Mr. Steiber is a licensed pharmacist in Texas, Washington, California, and Pennsylvania. He is affiliated with several professional associations and publications and a frequent speaker on behalf of many professional organizations. Mr. Steiber graduated from Washington State University College of Pharmacy. He has participated in a variety of postgraduate programs in law and business development/ marketing at Harvard University and Northwestern University. Mr. Steiber currently resides in Plano, Texas, with his wife and 2 sons.





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