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Perspective

Depending on the patient’s needs, the clinical pharmacist may also work with other staff members, such as financial counselors or social workers, to optimize patient care. Similarly, clinical pharmacists confer with specialty pharmacists to ensure that insurance issues are resolved so that the patient receives timely access to treatment.

It is exciting to see that patients with advanced breast cancer are able to receive additional treatment options, because a primary concern of patients with stage IV breast cancer is a lack of awareness of laboratory and clinical research targeted for those battling advanced disease.

Outside of initial clinical trials, few tools are available to assess the real-world impact of breast cancer on patients. In a research letter published in February 2017 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the authors compared the impact of several new cancer drugs on progression-free survival (PFS) with their impact on the patient’s quality of life and annual cost.3

Healthcare has become increasingly costly with the advent of advanced technologies, and the field of oncology has not been spared from issues related to cost.

Almost one third of Americans are currently considered obese.1 As the number of patients with cancer who are overweight is increasing, the conventions of chemotherapy dosing are constantly being questioned. Because of the concern for overdosing obese patients, clinicians are routinely tasked with questions such as—Should we use actual body weight, ideal body weight, or something in between? Should we cap doses? Overdosing patients is a concern for all clinicians, but underdosing may be just as problematic.


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