What Is Clinical Pharmacy?
Simply, it means upgrading the role of the pharmacist from just dispensing to making interventions to improve drug therapy outcomes.
So, clinical Pharmacists are Pharmacists Helping People Make the Best Use of Medicines.
Clinical Pharmacy in Oncology:
Certain points contribute to the importance of implementing clinical pharmacy in the field of oncology:
- Chemotherapy drugs are Different from other drug classes
- Cancer Patients are Special having special needs and are usually very sensitive to external factors.
- Errors are Fatal
- Chemotherapy Hazards: Cancer drugs have been proven to be carcinogenic on repeated exposure.
All of the above lead to the need for a very professional and specialized people to deal with the treatment details; namely clinical pharmacists.
Do We Really Need It?
Medical injury from pharmaceutical therapies affects as many as one million patients per year, and kills as many as 200,000 according to recent studies in the US.
Most adverse drug events (ADEs) occur in hospitals, and as many as two-thirds of hospital ADEs are preventable
Two steps could be taken to reduce preventable ADEs in hospitals;
1. Automation of prescription data, and
2. Actively involving pharmacists in medical rounds
Patient and Pharmacist:
Patients are more at ease when talking with pharmacists.
Pharmacists can speak with patients in their own simple language.
When pharmacists counsel patients they improve treatment outcomes.
Is It Worth the Effort?
Definitely YES, because;
1. It provides better patient care.
2. It gives doctors more time to spend with patients.
3. It frees nurses for patient care.
4. It makes a lot of savings, and
5. It clearly decreases adverse drug events (ADEs)
1. Aseptic preparation of parenteral medication.
2. Participation in designing of Treatment protocols.
3. Preparation of standard sheets for protocols to be used by doctors, optimizing prescription of medication to patients.
4. Providing tools for dosage calculation to minimize errors.
5. Keeping computer records of all treatment given to patients.
6. Following up and documenting the patients’ records on protocols like:
- Treatment of patients with Fever and Neutropenia.
- Proper control of chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting.
Is It Just Oncology?
“Studies show that clinical pharmacists can improve patient outcomes, such as blood pressure control, reduced congestive heart failure, and improved diabetes care.”
- Daniel Malone, PhD, University of Arizona.
“Studies demonstrate that when pharmacists are included as members of health teams, control rates for hypertension increase and drug interactions, non-adherence to drug regimens, and costs can be reduced,”
- Bary Carter, PharmD, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.
“The team of a cardiologist and a pharmacist is a potent combination for managing patients with heart disease.”
- Michelle Bozovich, PharmD, Drug Therapy Management Inc.