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Integrating Oral Oncolytics into Pharmacy Practice

July 12, 2019

This article is a follow-up to a conversation with pharmacy leaders hosted by ACCC in October 2018 during a pre-conference workshop at its 35th National Oncology Conference.

Oncology pharmacists are well versed in the benefits and challenges of oral oncolytics. Leading challenges include patient access, which is often limited by higher out-of-pocket costs for these agents compared with infused drugs; logistical barriers, including payer preauthorization requirements and limited distribution networks via select specialty pharmacies; and decreased ability to monitor patient adherence and side effects compared with intravenously administered therapies. The oncology pharmacy team has frontline experience with these challenges. While there is no one-size-fits all solution, there are replicable strategies for improving access to oral therapies and patient adherence. These include creating and operationalizing workflow processes and improving communication and collaboration with financial advocacy staff and specialty pharmacy. A case study describes one cancer program’s oral oncolytics workflow. Benefits in-house dispensing and/or integrated specialty pharmacy are also considered.
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