What Role Does the Pharmacist Play with the Oncology Care Team?
In this clip, Maurie Markman, who spoke at the CFS Symposium held in NY this week, discussed with Pharmacy Times the role of pharmacists in managing patients with cancer.
The world of the of the pharmacist in oncology I think is actually changing changing also relatively dramatically; it certainly has in my time in medicine, which goes over 30 years when we started and certainly 10, 15, 20 years after that where basically we went from pharmacists just distributing drugs, there was an FDA approved indication you gave that drug you gave that regimen, that strategy and then if you needed to lower the medication you lowered it and that is sort of the way they practiced. As we increasingly see many cancers as chronic illnesses we really have to focus on those toxicities, not just as they affect the patient today but as they might affect the patient 6 months, 2, 3 years from now becomes critical. It is also important to note that antineoplastic agents traditionally have been seen as a sort of as a revenue center but increasingly they are going to be seen more as a cost center where the cost of drugs is going to be looked at very carefully. Using the optimal drug and using the optimum strategy, figuring out when to use the growth factors or not becomes critical. That's where a clinical pharmacist who specializes in the drugs, who knows about the side-effects and knows the data is going to be so important to that individual oncologist or their team to help sort out what is best for that patient.