February 13, 2020
Researchers recently found that a multidisciplinary collaborative approach to oral anticancer medication (OAM) adherence can have a significant impact on outcomes.
“OAMs offer convenient administration, reducing the burden of cancer treatment, but create challenges for patients and practitioners,” study authors noted.
In order to improve OAM adherence, a team of researchers conducted a quality improvement initiative. They used data from the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative analysis and identified a baseline adherence rate of 30%.
The aim of the study, according to the researchers, was to increase OAM patient adherence by 30 percentage points.
“Through cause-and-effect analysis, adherence barriers were identified, leading to the development of 2 strategies: low-cost adherence tools and a pharmacist-led adherence program,” they explained.
For the study, the research team collected prescription refill data before and after the intervention, and they used prescription-fill data and specialty pharmacy records. Further, they defined adherence as “the patient having the drug available at least 80% to less than 120% of the days evaluated for 4 treatment cycles.” Finally, the research team observed the number of interventions, OAM-related toxicity, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations.
According to the study findings, after 1 year of observation, OAM adherence increased from 37% to 85% (n = 20 of 54 v 44 of 52 patients; P < .0001). Researchers noted that during the study, 655 interventions were documented by a pharmacist (adherence related, n = 331; treatment related, n = 324). Finally, the number of oncology-related emergency room referrals leading to hospitalization increased from 52% (n = 13 of 25) to 62% (n = 23 of 37) during the study period.
“A pharmacist-led adherence program, combined with low-cost adherence tools, exceeded the goal for the adherence initiative, suggesting that a multidisciplinary collaborative approach to OAM adherence can have a significant impact on outcomes,” the study authors concluded.
Curry MA, Chineke I, Redelico T, et al. Adherence to Oral Anticancer Medications After Implementation of an Ambulatory Adherence Program at a Large Urban Academic Hospital [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jan 21]. JCO Oncol Pract. 2020;JOP1900167. doi:10.1200/JOP.19.00167