Digital Technology Has Changed the Landscape

Health-System Edition, Health-System Edition March 2021, Volume 10, Issue 3

COVID-19 is fueling the expansion of treatment methods beyond medications to include digital therapeutics.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is fueling the expansion of treatment methods beyond medications to include digital therapeutics, which are software-based therapies that help manage, prevent, and treat disease.

This does not show any signs of slowing down, and health care may be changed permanently as a result. This month's cover feature, "New Technologies Boost Pharmacists' Role" by Parisa Vatanka, PharmD, CTTS, and Timothy Dy Aungst, PharmD, addresses these issues. According to the authors, "sensor-enabled medications that record and transmit data on medication use have entered the market, supporting patients in managing their health and providing pharmacists with actionable insights to guide medication optimization."

Also in this issue, we focus on treatments for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, community-acquired bacterial pneumonia, and ovarian cancer. We also introduce a new feature on 503B compounding pharmacies, which will appear in every issue.

Meanwhile, Editor-in-Chief Curtis E. Haas, PharmD, FCCP, shares the latest on the COVID-19 pandemic from the health-system perspective in his Editor's Note, noting that the vaccination effort takes a village of health care workers, including health informatics professionals, nurses, providers, scheduling staff, supply chain experts, and, of course, pharmacists.

"The contribution of health-system pharmacists has been nothing short of outstanding and was sorely needed as other health care workers were consumed with bedside care of patients with COVID-19," he writes. "The storage and handling requirements of the 2 vaccines available under emergency use authorization at this time, especially the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, demanded close involvement of pharmacy."

Finally, Directions in Health-System Pharmacy continues to cover conferences, including the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, which was held virtually in January.

An article in this issue reports on data released at a presentation at that meeting from a phase 1b/2 study investigating onvansertib as a treatment for KRAS-mutated metastatic colorectal cancer. The data showed that 42% of patients achieved a partial response and 67% demonstrated a durable response, ranging from 6.1 months to 13.7 months.

For more coverage from that conference, as well as other important industry meetings, visit pharmacytimes.com/conferences on the Pharmacy Times website.

Thank you for reading!