The May issue of The Oncology Pharmacist (TOP) contains valuable news and updates for today’s oncology pharmacist, including the latest data from clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of novel therapies being used to treat a variety of cancers; highlights from the recent National Comprehensive Cancer Network Annual Conference; key takeaways from a survey documenting the ways in which inflation is affecting how consumers make decisions regarding their healthcare; and details on an innovative program being offered by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists with the goal of helping pharmacists combat burnout in the workplace.
During the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, a panel of thought leaders discussed strategies for improving health equity in bladder cancer care, including the importance of increasing access to clinical trials, reducing financial toxicity, and incorporating principles of value-based care (see here).
In his presentation addressing the heavy financial burden carried by people diagnosed with cancer, Vidit Sharma, MD, MS, explained, “The costs that we can measure—and these are the direct costs that we usually measure—are often the tip of the iceberg of the costs that our patients usually face.”
This fact was also evident in a recent report by AccessOne, which detailed findings from a survey of more than 1000 individuals who were asked about their purchasing decisions and payment behavior—including for healthcare—in the upcoming year. According to the report, many consumers stated that they were losing confidence in their ability to pay for healthcare and expected to take certain measures to reduce expenses in 2023, including delaying filling a prescription or choosing not to fill a prescription at all (see here).
Another concerning trend was the topic of discussion at the 2023 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, where Eric Adjei Boakye, PhD, presented results from a study exploring the level of public awareness of the link between human papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV-associated malignancies, including cervical, oral, penile, and anal cancers. Dr Boakye and his colleagues found that awareness of the fact that HPV can cause certain types of cancer has been on the decline, while the incidence rates of oral and anal cancers have been on the rise. Dr Boakye also noted that vaccination rates against the virus have been lagging (see here).
“Given the connections between HPV-associated cancer awareness and HPV vaccination uptake, it is important we increase the population’s awareness of this link, as it may help increase vaccine uptake,” he said, adding that novel and targeted strategies are needed to counteract HPV vaccine disinformation.
Other topics of interest in this issue of TOP include a recent revision to existing mammogram regulations, aimed at improving communication between patients and providers (see here); encouraging results from a large clinical trial showing the benefit of immunotherapy following surgery for some patients with high-risk bladder cancer (see here); and new research on the link between ultra-processed foods and cancer (see here).
As in every issue, we also provide readers with the latest details on new cancer drugs and new indications approved by the FDA (see here).
We hope you will enjoy this issue of TOP, and we invite you to visit www.TheOncologyPharmacist.com to share your feedback about this issue with us or send comments to info@TheOncologyPharmacist.com. We look forward to receiving your feedback.