Background Morbidity and mortality associated with the use of medicines is a great problem of public health. The pharmacist has a key role in detection, preventing and resolving drug-related problems (DRP). This is even more important in the case of cancer patients, where the high number of treatment protocols and the extensive supportive therapy increases the number of drugs used. This particular setting is a challenge to the clinical pharmacist.
Purpose Analysis and characterisation of pharmacotherapeutic follow-up and pharmacist interventions in oncology patients.
Materials and methods Retrospective study of pharmacotherapeutic follow-up from January to September of 2011, in a central hospital.
Results Between January to September of 2011 the team of oncology pharmacists monitored 56 patients (29 males and 26 females) with mean age of 69 years (min.: 33; max.: 93). Colorectal cancer was the most prevalent cancer in the study population, followed by breast and pulmonary cancers. The team monitored 316 drugs (a mean of 5.64 drugs per patient). The follow-up detected 43 DRPs, resulted in 43 pharmaceutical interventions (0.77/patient). The majority of interventions were related to the need to adjust dosages (53.5%), followed by the need to substitute one or more medicines (11.6%) and those related to adverse effects (11.6%), such as emesis protocol optimisation and other supportive treatment. The physicians accepted approximately 79% of pharmacist interventions.
Conclusions The results show that cancer patients are one of the groups most at risk of DRPs. The analysis, characterisation and quantification of pharmaceutical interventions performed on the oncology unit are an important step in documenting the activities of hospital pharmacists in this area, enabling them to be measured. The pharmacist interventions stand out as individual contributions throughout the patient's cancer treatment, highlighting the role of the pharmacist as part of the multidisciplinary team.
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