Pharmacist's Role in Enhancing Multiple Myeloma Care


Kristen Peterson, PharmD, BCOP, discusses how pharmacists optimize quality of life for patients with multiple myeloma, manage treatment adverse effects, and adapt amid health care shortages while staying updated on the latest advancements for comprehensive patient care.

This is a video synopsis/summary of an Insights episode involving Kristen Peterson, PharmD, BCOP.

As understanding of multiple myeloma and its impacts on patients evolves, pharmacists play an increasingly vital role in patients’ optimizing quality of life as patients live longer. Pharmacists can provide supportive care prophylaxis before treatment starts to reduce risks of debilitating adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and infections that could otherwise require treatment delays. They closely monitor patients on new regimens, especially oral chemotherapies taken at home, to identify adverse effects early, determine severity, educate patients on prevention/recurrence mitigation, and collaborate with the care team on the next steps. By treating current adverse events and preventing future episodes, pharmacists promote medication adherence and therapeutic response.

Globally, oncology provider and nursing shortages exist alongside increasing patient volume, which is affected by more relapsed/refractory treatment options and greater life expectancy. With extensive medication knowledge, pharmacists can alleviate some burden on care teams. They ensure accurate, up-to-date treatment plans to enable efficient provider prescription and conduct in-depth patient education about medications/adverse effects/supportive care before appointments so questions are preemptively answered, allowing providers and nurses to focus on individualized care during visits. Pharmacists also provide long-term patient monitoring that providers or nurses may lack bandwidth for.

Pharmacists must stay abreast of constant advances changing treatment paradigms to ensure patients with myeloma receive the most evidence-based care possible. It is essential that they incorporate new developments into practice, aided by discussions with peer pharmacists regarding real-world insights on therapies, prevalence of specific adverse events, and treatment sequencing. Subscribing to high-impact journals such as Blood also keeps pharmacists informed of important landscape shifts. Although attending national oncology meetings such as those held by the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology allows real-time exposure to updates, financial constraints can make these difficult to access. Regional gatherings and pharmacy-specific meetings such as those held by the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association, which review major conference takeaways, can teach pharmacists how best to integrate cutting-edge knowledge and treatments into optimized care for patients with myeloma.

Video synopsis is AI-generated and reviewed by Pharmacy Times® editorial staff.

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