Patient Advocacy, Technological Innovations Advance the Field of Oncology Pharmacy

Pharmacy Practice in Focus: OncologyApril 2023
Volume 5
Issue 3

A strong theme of recent conferences was the push for greater awareness of pharmacists' roles in patient advocacy and patient education.

March 2023 was a busy month of oncology pharmacy conferences—from the ACCC Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit (AMCCBS) and the NCODA Spring Forum to the COA Community Oncology Conference and the HOPA Annual Conference—much of the editorial staff of Pharmacy Times® had barely enough time to unpack before heading off to the next conference.

Oncology Pharmacist | Image Credit: VectorBum -

Oncology Pharmacist | Image Credit: VectorBum -

A strong theme of these conferences was the push for greater awareness of pharmacists’ roles in patient advocacy and patient education, as well as the ability of the pharmacist to seize on technological innovations to ease processes beyond the pharmacy and on into health systems.

In Pharmacy Times Oncology Edition’s coverage of AMCCBS on page 34, we look at the presentation of Andre D. Harvin, PharmD, who discussed strategies for enhancing any cancer practice’s oncology pharmacy. Harvin noted that pharmacists are uniquely able to address financial assistance challenges for patients and determine the best biosimilar in terms of reimbursement for oncology practices.

In this issue’s cover story on page 12, authors Ann Tong, PharmD; Yijun Cai, PharmD candidate; Samantha Shi, PharmD, BCOP; Hien Tang, PharmD, BCOP; Harry Shamamian, PharmD, MBA, FACHE; and Amir Ali, PharmD, BCOP, analyze the efficacy and safety of tixagevimab/cilgavimab (Evusheld; AstraZeneca) using real-world data following the FDA’s emergency use authorization revision to further assess the role of monoclonal antibodies in minimizing COVID-19–related complications.

On page 16, Michael Piskuric, PharmD, CSP, discusses the impact of advancements in telemedicine on specialty pharmacy’s role on the patient care team. Then, on page 18, Pharmacy Times Oncology Edition editorial advisory board member Jerline Hsin, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, provides her perspective on the role of the pharmacist in balancing treatment risk and benefit in older patients with cancer.

Lastly, on page 28, we review the vital panel discussion among Scott A. Soefje, PharmD, MBA, BCOP, FCCP, FHOPA; Kirollos S. Hanna, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, FACCC; Judith Alberto, MHA, RPh, BCOP; and Kevin Pang, PharmD, on definitions of “unconventional” roles in oncology pharmacy and the benefits and drawbacks of a career within one of these career paths.

As the year progresses, we will continue to look toward assessing advancements in oncology pharmacy while glimpsing insights into the roles pharmacy professionals inhabit as we move toward a brighter future that has more fully engaged the work of the oncology pharmacist.

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