The Value of the Pharmacist in the Treatment of Patients With Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Pharmacy Times® interviewed Petros Grivas, associate professor at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch) and a medical oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, on the value of the pharmacist in the treatment of patients with cancer during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Alana Hippensteele: What is the value of the pharmacist specifically in the treatment of patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Petros Grivas: The role of the pharmacist overall in my practice and overall in oncology and in medicine is tremendous. I cannot emphasize [enough] how blessed we are in our institutions—University of Washington, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and Fred Hutch—to have amazing pharmacists that we work with. We work with them [and] consult with them every day because there are multiple different opportunities in patient care in oncology, but also in the COVID-19 scenario. Specifically, for COVID-19, obviously, there is rapidly emerging [and] evolving data about therapeutics. We all remember trials, like the recovery trial in the UK that looked at dexamethasone or trials with remdesivir that I think got regulatory approval in the US, and other avenues that have been tested, and we discussed with our pharmacists to look at these data sets to critically evaluate the data and the publications and see which of those data applied to our patients.
So, I think this is an ongoing discussion, the pharmacist has a significant role, let alone other details like drug track interactions, other particular nuances in terms of the base and comorbidities, any impact on the EKG in QTc intervals. There are [a] broad spectrum of different applications where the pharmacists and the oncologists and other providers can come together in the patient journey, and this applies very well in a rapidly evolving data landscape with COVID-19 specifically, and also when you talk about patients with cancer as well, who also get treatment at the same time.
Alana Hippensteele: Absolutely. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today, Dr. Grivas. Now let’s hear from some of our other MJH Life Sciences brands on their latest headlines.