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by Tiene Bauters PharmD PhD
Clinical Pharmacist, Paediatric Haematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
Published on 6 December 2019

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The EBMT Pharmacist Committee

The EBMT Pharmacist Committee has been established to structure and develop scientific and educational activities designed for pharmacists and clinical pharmacologists involved in the field of stem cell transplantation and cellular therapy

The number of haematopoietic stem cell transplantations (HSCT) in adults and children has expanded in the last decades and still continues to increase. In order to ensure safe and effective care, HSCT treatments should be performed in expert centres by experienced and fully dedicated multidisciplinary teams, including physicians, nurses and clinical pharmacists. 

Due to the complexicity of the conditioning regimens and pharmacotherapeutic plans, patients undergoing HSCT are at high risk for developing drug-related problems. They often require a wide range of supportive care drugs – over a prolonged period – to avoid or manage complications related to transplantation. These drugs include immunosuppressive agents, antiemetics, analgesics, corticosteroids, antifungals, antivirals, antibacterials, antiepileptics, antihypertensives, among others. 

For many years, the clinical pharmacist has been an integral member of the multidisciplinary stem cell transplantation team. Clinical pharmacists have proved to be well-positioned to manage drug therapy (including adverse events, and drug–drug interactions, especially when drugs with a narrow toxic –therapeutic range are involved), to perform a pharmacotherapeutic assessment, to participate in ward rounds and to develop and implement guidelines for supportive care.

Since 2015, the key role of the pharmacist in HSCT and the Joint Accreditation Committee-ISCT & EBMT (JACIE) has been recognised in the 6th Edition of the JACIE Standards. Pharmacists should be involved in preparing for, and maintaining, accreditation, which encourages closer collaboration in delivering safe, high-quality care to patients.

In April 2018, the Pharmacist Committee of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) was established with the main aim of providing specific training and education for pharmacists, clinical pharmacologists and other professionals, to define the role of hospital pharmacy in the delivery of cellular medicines, and to advise on the content and implementation of related standards (for example, JACIE). In addition to this, the Committee is involved in the organisation of the EBMT Pharmacist Day at the annual EBMT meeting.

More information can be found on the EBMT webpage at www.ebmt.org/pharmacist-committee.

When is the next meeting?

The next EBMT Pharmacist Day will be held on Tuesday 26 March 2019 and is open to everyone who is attending the Annual meeting. 

Pharmacists and clinical pharmacologists specialised in HSCT will present relevant up-to-date topics in four sessions, including:

  • Medication management, including the multidisciplinary aspect and the importance of computerised provider order entry 
  • An update of the JACIE Standards for pharmacists 
  • Gene and cell therapy, including CAR T-cell therapy and its implementation in practice; current and upcoming gene therapy and establishing these in the pharmacy 
  • Personalised dosing of conditioning agents beyond busulfan will be discussed and drugs including cyclophosphamide, fludarabine, melphalan and clofarabine will be highlighted 
  • Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of biologics and their importance from a pharmaco-economic and pharmacovigilance points of view.

This full-day programme will enable pharmacists to fulfil a great part of their JACIE requirements for educational activities in cellular therapy. 

The Pharmacists’ day will be a great opportunity to network and catch up with pharmacy colleagues from all around the world and I hope to see you there. 



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