Practical Issues for Pharmacists
Background: Oral chemotherapy has an ever-increasing role in the treatment of patients with cancer, but high cost increases the risk for primary nonadherence or “nonfulfillment.” Non-fulfillment is defined as failure to obtain a prescribed medication. Proven methods to decrease nonfulfillment rates for oral chemotherapy are lacking in the literature.
Multidisciplinary collaboration in cancer care is becoming the standard philosophy for treating cancer patients. However, due to varying opinions among specialists regarding patient care, not all specialists are working together.
With the ever-increasing cost of oncology drugs as well as patient copays, a new role was created to help patients manage their financial needs at the Southwest Cancer Center, in cooperation with the Central Pharmacy, University Medical Center, Lubbock, Texas, the county’s and Texas Tech University’s primary teaching hospital.
Every physician has a preferred way of writing prescription instructions, and pharmacists differ in how they translate those instructions to the pill bottle. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine by Wolf and associates found that the lack of a universal medication schedule (UMS) to standardize how prescriptions are written and filled contributes to poor patient adherence and increases safety concerns. Elderly patients or those with low health literacy are more prone to confusion when trying to follow a multidrug regimen.
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