An oncology pharmacist-managed oral anticancer therapy program significantly improved tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) adherence rates in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), a recent study published online ahead of print in the Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice has shown.1

Because research has indicated that non-adherence is a major contributing factor for treatment failure in patients with CML receiving imatinib, oncology pharmacists at the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan Hematology Oncology Infusion Clinic in Antioch, CA, sought to evaluate the impact of an oncology pharmacist-managed program on oral medication adherence compared with usual care in patients with CML.

For the study, the 2 researchers retrospectively analyzed data from electronic refill history and medical records of patients diagnosed with CML treated with TKIs managed by oncology pharmacists during a 6-year period compared with usual care. A total of 56 patients were evaluated, including 45 treated with imatinib.

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Results showed that the group managed by oncology pharmacists had an 88.6% imatinib adherence rate compared to 65.8% in the usual care group (P = .0046).

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Researchers found that pharmacists made 567 interventions during a total of 3432 pharmacist encounters, corresponding with an average of 10.1 interventions per patient.

Interventions were related to side- effect monitoring/management, drug interactions, TKI dose adjustment, laboratory monitoring, non-CML related drug choice, and copay assistance.


  1. Lam MSH, Cheung N. Impact of oncology pharmacist-managed oral anticancer therapy in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia [published online ahead of print September 28, 2015]. J Oncol Pharm Pract. doi: 10.1177/1078155215608523.