Official European Society of Oncology Pharmacy Blog
Oral Chemotherapy – a National Pilot Programme in Germany for Better Adherence in Europe
K Meier1, M Hampel2, J Barth3, M Höckel4, T Schöning5
1Heidekreis Klinikum GmbH, Department Hospital and Clinical Pharmacy, Soltau, Germany
2Kronen-Apotheke, Department Clinical Pharmacy, Wesseling, Germany 3STIL, Medical University Giessen, Giessen, Germany 4Krankenhausapotheke, Städt. Krankenhaus, Kassel, Germany 5Department of Oncology Pharmacy, Universitätsklinikum, Heidelberg, Germany
Introduction: Antineoplastic chemotherapy describes a group of haz- ardous drugs commonly used in the treatment of cancer. Potential risks are not only recognised for patients, but extend to pharmacists and other healthcare workers. Guidelines for safe handling are well estab- lished in the traditional settings of hospitals and ambulatory clinics for the IV chemotherapy. In tumour therapy, documentation, quality management and standardisation of interdisciplinary processes are increasingly gaining importance in form of therapy protocols and guidelines for clinical treatment.
Method: Non-adherence, application errors and interactions due to insufficient education of the patient can compromise therapeutic suc- cess. An adequate, quality assured, multi-professional care is therefore urgently required for oncology patients receiving oral chemotherapy. A programme is set up in Germany to teach 20,000 community and hos- pital pharmacist in the next year in supporting patients the best in tak- ing oral cytotoxic drugs.
This initiative aims to reach the following goals for oncology patients:
1. On-site optimisation of oral chemotherapy and improvement of pharmaceutical care for oncology patients.
2. Cost-effective and reliable care for cancer patients due to profes- sional collaboration of local physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals at the right time.
3. Recognising and solving drug-related problems related to oral chemotherapy.
4. Enhancing the quality of life of oncology patients through a coor- dinated management of side effects and interactions during and after therapy.
5. Providing new insight as a contribution to health services research and to encourage drug safety.
Results: The necessary steps in order to reach the status and to start with the campaign will be shown. Not only the way to win the societies of doctors and community pharmacists but also to engage the industry to jump over their own marketing shadow. Finally the demand of ethic committees and also the agency for data privacy protection will give all other interested party a chance not to loose time.
Conclusion: The increasing role of oral cytotoxic drugs and the grow- ing demand of its good use can finally only insured by well trained phar- macists. The campaign which is starting in Germany by 250 teaching meetings is followed in Austria, Estonia and Slovenia in order to dem- onstrate the good outcome in a few years.