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Facilitating Access to Cancer Immunotherapies

May 9, 2019

This article was developed from the Evolving Role of the Oncology Pharmacy: Multidisciplinary Perspectives Pre-Conference at the ACCC 35th National Oncology Conference, October 17, 2018, in Phoenix, AZ.

For cancer programs and practices integrating new cancer immunotherapies into practice, potential pitfalls can loom large: budget, staffing, workflow, and more. The Oncology Pharmacy plays a key role in facilitating effective integration, from pre-planning, to operationalizing patient access to these new therapies. Lay the groundwork by communicating in advance with hospital administrators, advised Una Hopkins, Una Hopkins, RN, FNP-BC, DNP, Administrative Director, Cancer Program at White Plains Hospital, Center for Cancer Care. The oncology pharmacist can help prepare for discussion on the value of bringing these therapies into practice, and address critical issues such as how budget decisions will impact patient selection, options for access through clinical trials, and resource allocation. For the oncology pharmacy, pre-planning considerations include workflow, inventory management, preauthorization, patient assistance options, and more.
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