Irvine, California, June 8, 2020 – Oncology pharmacy practitioners around the world are striving to provide cancer patients with high-quality cancer care with an increasingly limited and sometimes restricted supply of personal protective equipment, as well as limited access to drugs. essential anticancer drugs, according to the study conducted by the University of California at Irvine.
In the Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice, Alexandre Chan, Department Head and Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Practice, and Canadian and Australian colleagues from the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners interviewed 42 pharmacy practice groups in 28 countries and regions (both developed countries and in development) to determine the pain points this pandemic has created for oncology pharmacy practitioners.
The summary of the study is available on: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1078155220927450
Half of those surveyed said PPE was difficult to access or supply was limited. These are necessary equipment for practitioners preparing chemotherapy to avoid exposure to toxins, which can cause mutagenic and carcinogenic effects. The study reveals that practitioners had to find ways to preserve the supply of PPE, such as extending chemotherapy makeup changes to avoid over-changing PPE. In addition, practitioners in 43% of the countries surveyed reported limited access to medicines, including anti-infective agents, anti-cancer medicines and supportive care medicines which are essential in the treatment of cancer patients, the most. much of this problem occurring in African countries.
“We need to make sure that cancer healthcare workers – in this case, pharmacists and technicians involved in cancer care – continue to be well protected with PPE and have what they need to do well. do their job, ”Chan said. “Oncology pharmacists are important frontline health workers involved in the care of vulnerable patients. “
Going forward, the group will continue to monitor the long-term impact of COVID-19 on cancer care delivery and identify opportunities to learn from experiences to ensure pharmacy services can prioritize workforce initiatives and activities. This will aid in efforts to ensure the continued supply of essential medicines and the safety of patients on high-risk, complex, and narrow treatment regimens during a pandemic or other resource-constrained environment.
Marliese Alexander, Jennifer Jupp, Grace Chazan, and Shaun O’Connor of the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners also contributed to the study.
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