By Edward C. Li, PharmD, BCOP, Drugs and Biologics Editor
Oncology pharmacists currently face many challenges; among these include dealing with Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) and incorporating biomarkers into clinical practice. Furthermore, the oncology pharmacist must be attuned to new drug developments and approvals in this rapidly progressing field. To help oncology pharmacists stay informed about these topics and address them in their own practices, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has developed the 2011 NCCN Pharmacy Program: Best Practices in Oncology Pharmacy Management™ to be held directly before the NCCN 16th Annual Conference on March 9, 2011 at the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida.
The goal of this program is to provide oncology pharmacists with insights regarding “best practices” on how other institutions are dealing with REMS and utilizing biomarkers as part of their practice. For example, in the session entitled, “Actual and Best Practices in the Management of REMS,” pharmacists will hear about other institutions’ experiences regarding what extra resources are required to incorporate REMS into practice. Additionally, the session, “Clinical Applications of Predictive Biomarkers: Therapy Selection, Response Evaluation, and Adverse Event Prediction” will provide insights as to how NCCN Member Institutions have incorporated biomarkers into pharmacist-managed clinical services. Lastly, the session entitled “New and Emerging Drugs and Biologics in Cancer Care” will present important considerations for new drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration and emerging products.
This half-day program is a unique, educational event designed to provide pharmacists with information on such topics to help them incorporate best practices into their daily operations. Rather than didactic lectures, the program is formatted as a series of interactive panel discussions aimed at facilitating audience participation. Each panel is comprised of faculty who are recognized leaders in oncology across the United States. The panel will first share its viewpoints about the topic at hand and the subsequent discussion will focus on audience questions. To see a detailed schedule of the program and to register, please visit: http://www.nccn.org/professionals/meetings/eventinfo.asp?EventID=266