HOPA 2018 | Patient education is important for drug tolerance and adherence

Jeanne McCarthy-Kaiser

In this video, recorded at the 2018 Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) Annual Meeting, in Denver, CO, Jeanne McCarthy-Kaiser, PharmD, BCOP, of the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, speaks to us about how pharmacists can help patients with problems outside of the clinic, such as easing the financial burden of treatment, and how educating a patient about their treatment will make them more likely to adhere to the regimen.

Transcript (edited for clarity):

Pharmacists aren’t always involved in reimbursement per se, but we certainly can recognize what is an expensive drug. So one of my take-home messages is knowing where you think you might run into an insurance issue and try to really get ahead of it, by either trying to figure out if something needs a prior authorization or if there is a drug company providing the drug for free if the patient qualifies to get them set up, because there are ways to make a patient’s financial journey through transplant a little bit easier via medication management.
And also to know that the role of the pharmacist is about medication but it’s also for outpatient pharmacy; getting to know your patients because a lot of our patients come in, as I’m sure they do at other centers, really nervous and anxious, and when we meet with the patients to talk about medications it’s not just giving them the information, but giving them the information in a way that they can handle and digest and understand, because I feel like one of the most important things for the pharmacist and transplant team is to have the patient know why they’re taking something.
I feel like it really helps increase their adherence to their regimens and the regimens can be incredibly complex, so it’s just another reassurance tool almost and then to keep checking in with our outpatients; you know in a hospital you can see your patient every single day and in an outpatient setting you don’t, but to make sure that you do touch base with them and kind of make sure you’re connecting throughout the whole process to make sure that they’re still continuing to take their medications and they understand the importance of what they’re doing.

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