From the Editors

TOP - May 2017, Vol 10, No 2 - From the Editors
Patrick J. Medina, PharmD, BCOP
Professor of Clinical and Administrative Sciences
University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy
Tulsa, OK
Steve Stricker, PharmD, MS, BCOP
Takeda Oncology
Florence, KY

In the May issue of The Oncology Pharmacist (TOP), we feature a conversation with Patrick J. Medina, PharmD, BCOP, Professor of Clinical and Administrative Sciences at the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy in Tulsa, in which he discusses changes to the reimbursement model, bridging the knowledge gap in a rapidly evolving field, and why provider status is the “holy grail” of pharmacy.

“Provider status is necessary for the profession to evolve. It is something that impacts my ability to hire new pharmacists, or expand current pharmacy series provided. It is something that every pharmacist from every field of pharmacy, should be working to achieve,” Dr Medina said during an interview with TOP.

This issue also features highlights of key presentations and studies from recent national and international meetings, including the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) Annual Conference, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) 22nd Annual Conference, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium, and the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

Of note, one presenter at the NCCN Annual Conference shared the positive results of a pharmacy-led outreach program that improved adherence to tyrosine kinase inhibitors and compliance with polymerase chain reaction testing in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia. The intervention, which was instituted at Magellan Rx Management and involved telephone outreach to patients and providers by pharmacists, resulted in an 8.5% relative increase in the proportion of patients who achieved target adherence, as well as an increase in patients who underwent recommended monitoring.

At HOPA, topics of interest included concerns over right-to-try laws, the latest legislative efforts to help pharmacists achieve provider status, and the controversy surrounding the optimal second-line treatment for patients with metastatic renal-cell carcinoma.

In addition to conference news, this issue provides valuable information on the importance of rapidly diagnosing and treating immune-related toxicities, the potential for immunotherapy to provide long-term benefits in patients who need to stop treatment prematurely, the mechanisms of response and resistance to checkpoint inhibitors, and a new investigational agent for the treatment of patients with advanced non–small-cell lung cancer.

We invite you to visit to share your feedback about this issue with us, or send comments to We look forward to hearing from you!

Last modified: May 10, 2017