Overcoming Challenges to Meet the Needs of Patients and Pharmacists

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Pharmacy Times Oncology Edition, July 2020, Volume 2, Issue 3

Directions in Oncology PharmacyTM provides insight into how specialty pharmacies can improve transitional care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The world is continuing to adapt to life with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and health care is evolving as a result. As pharmacists and other professionals face unique challenges, they are innovating and extending services to meet the needs of patients in their care.

An article in this issue of Directions in Oncology PharmacyTM provides insight into how specialty pharmacies can improve transitional care during the COVID-19 pandemic. On page 20, the writers discuss how oncology pharmacists can take action to mitigate reduced care and communication, isolation from patient support systems, and other challenges that may lead to lack of adherence. The goal is to empower these pharmacists and their patients, leading to improved adherence and, ultimately, improved patient outcomes.

Organizations and businesses that support pharmacists also are navigating the pandemic and adapting to the needs of those they serve. In many cases, continuing education courses, career networking, and research presentations have remained on schedule, despite widespread cancellations of events that typically draw large crowds. Instead, the pandemic has brought forth new online initiatives, including webinars and video conferencing, as meetings have been moved from major cities to home offices.

This issue of Directions in Oncology PharmacyTM also includes a series of articles from meetings that quickly adapted their events to virtual formats: the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s (SGO’s) Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer and the scientific program of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO’s) Annual Meeting. These articles recap some of the presentations SGO and ASCO offered during their 2020 programs.

One article, on page 49, discusses the clinical impact of COVID-19 on patients with cancer. An ASCO presentation shared results from a COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium cohort study that indicates a higher rate of mortality for these individuals.

Other articles from SGO and ASCO focus on drug trials that demonstrated safety and efficacy, such as veliparib on page 65 and trastuzumab deruxtecan on page 60.

As the world and health care industry continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and evolve to meet the needs of patients, Directions in Oncology PharmacyTM is your resource for facing these unique challenges. For more on how pharmacists are stepping up to respond to the pandemic, make sure to check our COVID-19 digital resource center at pharmacytimes.com/resourcecenters/coronavirus for the latest breaking updates on the innovations made by pharmacists on the front lines.