Change Is in the Air in Pharmacy

Pharmacy Practice in Focus: OncologyFebruary 2023
Volume 5
Issue 2

Change is upon us, and opportunities for advancing treatment opportunities for patients continue to look strong.

As we head into the new year in full swing, we’re looking toward what seems to be a year of great change in oncology pharmacy. One topic that is popping up more and more in our society is artificial intelligence (AI), specifically the possibility of bringing AI further into the fold not only in clinical research but also in clinical care. AI now looks less like a buzzword and more like a peek into our future, one that may allow us to look at the impact of issues such as health inequity, social determinants of health, and health care accessibility with an entirely new lens. We have realized that the limitation in these areas has in fact been ourselves, so we find in AI a more efficacious way of taking ourselves out of the equation for better results.

In this issue’s cover story on page 16, Pharmacy Times Oncology Edition editorial advisory board member Laly Havern, PharmD, MS, BCACP, and colleagues Francis Staskon, PhD, and Edward Witt, PhD, discuss their research investigating discontinuation rates of oral antineoplastic agents in 2018 and 2019. They explain that based on the current pipeline, these oral agents will be the mainstay of cancer management in the next few years. However, with this change comes the need to address and improve the quality of these agents because there are no current standardized quality measures available for the industry to use.

On page 31, Jane Lee, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, and Samantha Brongiel, PharmD, BCOP, address the 2 new indications for tremelimumab-actl (Imjudo; AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP). This medication was approved by the FDA in 2022 for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma and metastatic non–small cell lung cancer with no sensitizing EGFR mutation or ALK genomic tumor aberrations.

Additionally, Sonia Amin Thomas, PharmD, BCOP, discusses novel therapies in HER2-low metastatic breast cancer on page 28. Historically, HER2-low disease was managed as HER2-negative disease, but results from a recent phase 3 trial shed light on a potential treatment showing significant survival benefit for HER2-low disease specifically.

Perhaps it will require some cajoling to find ground, or perhaps it will not. Regardless, change is upon us, and opportunities for advancing treatment opportunities for patients continue to look strong.

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