Guest Blog: Kimberly M. Hicks, Pharm.D., M.H.A., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy
BioPlus is committed to supporting and raising awareness of the importance of breast cancer patient education, as well as the importance of early detection and prevention through annual mammograms.
Cancer is class of diseases manifesting with abnormal cell growth. There are over 100 different types of cancer which are classified by the type of cell that it initially affects. Cancer causes severe damage when those cells divide out of control and interfere with the digestive, circulatory, and/or nervous system. Metastasis occurs when cancer cells spread from their primary location to another region of the body.
Cancer is a very complex and challenging disease to treat and manage. Once a patient receives a diagnosis from an oncologist, a million questions and concerns began to surface. Whether a patient is starting chemotherapy for the first time ever or switching to a new chemotherapy medication, one of the first questions asked is, invariably: “Doctor, what are the side effects?”
In the understandable focus on getting effective oncology medications approved for the marketplace, manufacturers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) don’t always have an opportunity to publish data about the patients’ experience. In other words, with the spotlight on treating the disease, the treatment of the patient as a whole can take a backseat.
Dr. Ethan Basch M.D., Director of the Cancer Outcomes Research program, recently reported that both pharmaceutical companies and the FDA are taking steps toward increasing patient-centered drug development, which bodes well for future oncology patients.
When manufacturers and regulators, as Dr. Basch puts it, “consider patient perspectives in the design, conduct, and reporting of research,” then oncology patients embarking on a newly approved treatment will no longer have to enter the experience quite so blind in terms of expected symptoms.
Cancer has affected many of us either directly or indirectly here at BioPlus. We are very passionate about the role of specialty pharmacy in oncology care and aim to enrich patient lives and assist them to become well after a diagnosis of an overwhelming disease.
BioPlus is strongly committed to leading the way in providing the best oncology pharmacy services for years to come. For us, “It’s Personal!”
What do you think
I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments section below.
Basch E. Toward patient-centered drug development in oncology. N Engl J Med 2013;369:3997-400.
American Cancer Society
Cancer Research, UK