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Evidence-Based OncologyTM Highlights Role of Pharmacist in Cancer Care


As cancer care becomes more expensive and complex, the role of the pharmacist is expanding, from managing the shift to greater use of oral therapies to navigating the revenue cycle, as explored in the new issue of Evidence-Based Oncology™, a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care.®

CRANBURY, N.J.--With each headline about a new, life-saving cancer treatment, life becomes more interesting for a group of healthcare professionals whose role is rapidly changing: pharmacists.

Evidence-Based Oncology

(EBO™), a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®), examines the role of pharmacists in oncology in the current issue, featuring the following:

Molly Billstein Leber, PharmD, BCPS, FASHP, manager of Medication Policy and Formulary Management for the Yale New Haven System, writes about the evolution of hospital formulary management, including how the cost and complexity of today’s regimens are driving decision-making. Patient mix and the availability of insurance must be considered when making decisions, she writes.

Stacey McCullough, PharmD, of Tennessee Oncology, and Ricky Newton, CPA, of the Community Oncology Alliance, discuss how the rise of oral oncolytics has increased the pharmacist’s role in patient engagement, education, and as a guide in navigating benefits, so that patients will have good adherence to complex, costly regimens.

Brandon R. Shank, PharmD, MPH, BCOP; and Phuoc Anh (Anne) Nguyen, PharmD, MS, BCPS, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Emily C. Pherson, PharmD, BCPS, of Johns Hopkins discuss the effect of high-cost medications on an institution’s revenue cycle. Pharmacists must understand their role in the reimbursement process to maximize benefits for patients and revenue for institutions, with the goal of making sure patients get the right therapy at the right time.

AJMC® Associate Editorial Director Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD, discusses with Shank what the arrival of chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR T)-cell gene therapy treatment will mean to the practicing pharmacist in the clinic. The interview took place just after approval of Kymriah for acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children, but FDA has since approved Yescarta for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

“Beyond their supportive care role toward patients and their families, pharmacists can contribute to building more robust and sustainable care delivery models by influencing the development and deployment of care pathways, their oversight role in value-based utilization management, formulary management, and more effective linkage of outcomes data in care planning,” said Joseph Alvarnas, MD, director of value-based analytics, director of clinical quality, Alpha Clinic for Cell Therapy and Innovation, for City of Hope, in Duarte, Calif., who serves as editor-in-chief of EBO™.

Alvarnas will help host the annual AJMC® meeting, Patient-Centered Oncology Care®, to be held at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel November 16-17, 2017. For information and to register, visit our conference page.

About The American Journal of Managed Care®:

The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®) is a peer-reviewed, MEDLINE-indexed journal that keeps readers on the forefront of health policy by publishing research relevant to industry decision- makers as they work to promote the efficient delivery of high-quality care. AJMC.com is the essential website for managed care professionals, distributing industry updates daily to leading stakeholders. Other titles in the AJMC® family include The American Journal of Accountable Care®, and two evidence-based series, Evidence-Based Oncology™ and Evidence-Based Diabetes Management™. These comprehensive offerings bring together stakeholder views from payers, providers, policymakers and other industry leaders in managed care. To order reprints of articles appearing in AJMC® publications, please contact Dr. Jeff Prescott at (609) 716-7777, x331.


AJMC® Media:

Theresa Burek, 609-716-7777 ext. 811



Surabhi Verma, 609-716-7777 ext. 851


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