Adherence to Oral Oncolytics: What Should Pharmacists Focus On?

At the 2018 National Community Oncology Dispensing Association (NCODA) Spring Summit, Ray Bailey, BPharm, RPh, Pharmacists Director at Florida Cancer Specialists, discusses important considerations for managing oral chemotherapy care plans and improving adherence in patients.

At the 2018 National Community Oncology Dispensing Association (NCODA) Spring Summit, Ray Bailey, BPharm, RPh, Pharmacists Director at Florida Cancer Specialists, discusses important considerations for managing oral chemotherapy care plans and improving adherence in patients.

“It’s particularly hard with oral oncology drugs, because there are so many toxicities and side effects, but what we find is that we’ve developed strategies in our pharmacy oral adherence care plans, where we’re interacting through scripted care plans. We have our own computer system—it’s a proprietary system, we call it ORCA—where we design these care plans and it queues up all our calls and interventions with the patients. We found that if we could get patients over the first 1 to 2 cycles of these drugs, then they’re likely to be able to stay on the drugs and stay compliant and get a better outcome. So that’s what we put our focus on those initial, you know, anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks, where the toxicities are going to be the worst. So, we focus our clinical efforts right there, and you know, we engage with the patients and their families. We help them understand that there will be a benefit to this, and that if they do have some of these troubles and side effects, that we’ll be there to work with them and help them through. Then we use—besides just the calls—we have other tools, like supportive care kits, and other things we provide for the patients.”