Public Policy Priorities for HOPA
To help ensure cancer patients have access to quality and safe cancer care, we have fashioned our public policy agenda around such important initiatives as oral chemo parity, provider status, and healthcare appropriations, just to name a few.
Promote and improve patient safety by realizing the value and role that hematology/oncology pharmacists play as providers in healthcare delivery.
There is currently a lack of understanding in the cancer care delivery model for the important role that hematology/oncology pharmacists play in the care and treatment of cancer patients.
Cancer treatment can be an extremely complex, confusing, and frightening occasion for patients and their family members. The medications used to treat cancer are toxic and can have significant adverse effects. Patients often have numerous questions about their course of treatment and management of their adverse effects. These questions are best answered by a hematology/oncology pharmacist, who is an essential partner on their patient care team and whose expertise is needed on the frontlines to educate, inform, and encourage cancer patients and their families.
Improve access to oral chemotherapy for all patients and develop guidelines to promote safety in the ordering, dispensing, and administration of oral chemotherapy.
The advent of oral chemotherapy represents great progress in the treatment of cancer. However, as with many new innovations, oral chemotherapy can be more expensive and is often not covered by insurance at the same rate as intravenous chemotherapy.
Despite having insurance, patients are subjected to exorbitant co-pays and may decide to forego what their physician considers to be the most effective treatment for their specific type of cancer. Hematology/oncology pharmacists are essential partners in improving access to these medications, by advocating for payment equality with oral and intravenous chemotherapies and discouraging restricted distribution systems that create hurdles for patients and providers. Oral chemotherapy also carries significant risks when not used appropriately, therefore hematology/oncology pharmacists are in a unique position to create guidelines and provide education to ensure these medications are used safely and effectively.