Significance of a clinical pharmacist-led comprehensive medication management program for hospitalized oncology patients

UMAR R. M., Apikoglu-Rabus S., Yumuk P. F.

International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, vol.42, no.2, pp.652-661, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11096-020-00992-8
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, Index Islamicus, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.652-661
  • Keywords: Clinical pharmacist, Drug-related problems, Medication management, Oncology, Turkey
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background The use of highly toxic drugs in cancer treatment and supportive care medications exposes patients to an increased number of drug-related problems (DRPs). Clinical pharmacists contribute to the optimal use of medications by intervening in identified drug-related problems. Objective To evaluate the relevance of a comprehensive medication management service in oncology patients. Setting Marmara University Teaching and Research Hospital Medical Oncology Ward, Istanbul, Turkey. Methods This prospective study was carried out between December 2015 and April 2016 with adult patients with confirmed malignancy. Comprehensive medication management was performed by the clinical pharmacist throughout the patient’s hospital stay. The medication-related data as well as data regarding demographic and general health status of the patients were reviewed for the presence of drug-related problems. The identified problems, interventions and acceptance rate by physicians were recorded with the help of the Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe V6.0 (PCNE) classification. Main outcome measures Number and causes of drug-related problems, nature and acceptance rate of clinical pharmacist interventions and rate of problems solved. Results The study included 137 patients. The mean (SD) age of the patients was 58 (14.6) years. A total of 481 drug-related problems were recorded. The most frequent drug-related problems were ‘adverse drug events [including drug interactions]’ (n = 376), ‘untreated indications’ (n = 59) and ‘unnecessary drug treatment’ (n = 25). Inappropriate combination of drugs was the cause of 73.2% of the total problems. Interventions were made to stop administration of a suitable drug if the combination with another drug was contraindicated while prescribers were mostly informed about major drug interactions. The prescribers approved 93% of the total intervention proposals. The majority (90.9%) of the identified problems were totally solved. Conclusion Integration of clinical pharmacy services through a comprehensive medication management program in oncology will help to reduce the number of drug-related problems.