The value of secondary care clinical pharmacist input in many therapy areas has become well established.
Oncology patients are often prescribed several drugs with multiple side-effects and are therefore at risk of drug-related problems thus warranting clinical pharmacist input.
The American College of Clinical Pharmacy definition of a comprehensive medication management program (CMMP) is one that ensure each patient’s medication is individually assessed for its appropriateness based on several different criteria.
To date, studies on the impact of a pharmacist-led CMMP in oncology are limited and for this new study, a clinical pharmacist CMMP was administered to 137 patients at an oncology ward.
The pharmacist used the CMMP to assess the appropriateness of each medicine on a daily basis in relation to the patient’s demographics, renal and hepatic functions, comorbidities and other drugs taken. The pharmacist also assessed medicine use and adherence.
Overall, 481 drug-related problems were identified, including “adverse drug events, that is, “drug interactions”, “untreated indications” and “unnecessary drug treatments”.
Inappropriate combinations of drugs was the cause of 73.2% of all problems. Most relevant, however, was that prescribers approved 93% of the proposed interventions and that 90.9% of problems were solved.
The authors concluded that a pharmacist-led CMMP in oncology was of value in helping to reduce drug-related problems.