Pharmacists Increase Adherence, Improve Outcomes in Oral Chemotherapy Setting


In the oral chemotherapy setting, pharmacist care exceeded patients’ expectations and helped manage and avoid adverse events (AEs).

Research presented at the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association annual conference found that in the oral chemotherapy setting, pharmacist care exceeded patients’ expectations and helped manage and avoid adverse events (AEs).

Oral chemotherapy has several benefits for oncology patients, including ease of administration and fewer office visits. In addition to the advantages of oral chemotherapy, however, several risks have also emerged with their increased use. The study authors said that increased patient education is needed and adherence can be an issue because it is administered outside of the health care facility. Notably, poor adherence is a significant modifiable risk factor associated with worse outcomes.

The authors aimed to investigate earlier evidence, which has shown that the involvement of an outpatient pharmacist can increase adherence and patient satisfaction, while decreasing clinic expenditures.

The investigators used a chart review and an externally validated cross-sectional survey to evaluate patient satisfaction with their care during their first year in an oral chemotherapy monitoring clinic setting. At the end of the study period, 21% of eligible patients completed the survey.

During the study period, the clinic pharmacist made 136 interventions, evaluated 421 regimens, and provided education during 86 different encounters. Nearly 40% of all interventions involved managing AEs, and the provided recommendation acceptance rate was 62.5%.

Hormonal breast cancer therapies comprised 54.6% of the medications being managed, while capecitabine was the most predominant therapy among the non-hormonal therapies.

Of the participants who completed the survey, the majority said the pharmacist met or exceeded their expectations, reinforcing the vital role pharmacists play in the management of oral chemotherapy. The investigators also found that pharmacist-driven education increases compliance with standards set by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and Oncology Nursing Practice.

The authors concluded that pharmacists can continue to improve care by identifying and implementing quality improvements in the oral chemotherapy workflow.


A One-Year Evaluation of a Pharmacist-Led Oral Chemotherapy Monitoring Clinic: Clinical Services and Patient Perceptions. Poster Presentation. HOPA conference. Published March 12, 2020. Accessed May 5, 2020.

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