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Personalizing Patient Management and Oral Adherence for the Oncology Patient

Conference Correspondent  - Conference Correspondent, ASHP

In a product theater presentation, Jacob K. Kettle, PharmD, BCOP, of the University of Missouri Health Care-Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, provided an overview of the importance of medication therapy management (MTM) for oncology patients as the number of approved oral oncology therapies rise, and highlighted the role oncology pharmacists can play at their respective institutions.

Kettle states that new oral oncolytics are hitting the market 12 times faster than prior to 2003, as reported by Mancini and colleagues, and about 50 oral oncolytics are currently on the market.1 Many oncology patients today have multiple comorbidities that lead to polypharmacy and with chemotherapy regimens and treatment schedules becoming more and more complex, there is an increased need for MTM. The increased use of oral oncolytics has highlighted the incidence of different side effects, such as cardiac stomatitis and pulmonary effusions, which many pharmacists still need time to understand and manage.

MTM in oncology provides an opportunity for many oncology pharmacists to monitor oral adherence and overcome the barriers related to oral oncolytics. Kettle recommends that by pharmacists identifying and resolving drug-related problems through MTM, it helps to promote healthcare provider collaboration and encourages pharmacists to move from a dispensing ideology to focus more on the patient and less on the product. Ramalho de Oliveira and colleagues reported that MTM improves patient outcomes. Their study showed an improvement in 55% of patients’ medical conditions and 95% of patients felt that their overall health and well-being improved through MTM therapy.2

An MTM program traditionally includes 5 components: medication therapy review, personal medication record, medication action plan, intervention and referral, and documentation and follow-up. Kettle also stressed the importance of highlighting the financial concerns of patients and how they are often missed in patient consultations.

Overall, MTM in oncology is very important as the rise of oral oncolytics continues. It helps promote adherence and can ultimately increase patient education and improve patient outcomes. Kettle closed by emphasizing, “People don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.”

Kettle JK. Product theater presentation at ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting. Las Vegas, NV; December 2016.

  1. Mancini R, McBride A, Kruczynski M. Oncology (Williston Park). 2013;27(8):742-744, 824.
  2. Ramalho de Oliveira D, Brummel AR, Miller DB. J Manag Care Pharm. 2010;16(3):185-195.
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Last modified: February 20, 2019