Rise In Oral Oncology Drugs Creates New Challenges In Treatment Adherence

ASCO/ONS Update Safety Standards To Include Oral Chemotherapy, Atlantis Healthcare White Paper Evaluates Shift in Care from Hospital to Home

Jun 27, 2013, 06:16 ET from Atlantis Healthcare

SUMMIT, N.J., June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Treatment adherence will take on greater significance in cancer care due to an influx of new oral chemotherapy drugs that shift medication responsibility from healthcare professionals to their patients.  The topic received national attention recently at the annual meetings for The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) where new guidelines highlighted the correlation of adherence to therapy and treatment success.

"In recent years, we've been hearing more about the new generation of highly targeted cancer drugs, many of which are taken orally by the patient," said Lina Eliasson, Ph.D., clinical strategist at Atlantis Healthcare and specialist on adherence in oncology.  "As the responsibility for treatment adherence shifts from the hospital staff to the patient, we must prioritize our focus to best understand the patient's beliefs and concerns about their medications, as this has an impact on adherence.  Specifically, healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies will need to invest in resources to support patients self manage their treatment to ensure they can achieve positive outcomes."

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Task Force predicts 25 percent of the approximately 400 oncology drugs in development will be orally administered.  In March 2013, ASCO and the ONS jointly published an update to their chemotherapy administration safety standards focusing on the administration and management of oral chemotherapy.  Although the national discussion began at this year's ASCO and ONS meetings, the healthcare community is just starting to identify best practices for optimum adherence.

To better understand the impact of nonadherence in cancer care within this evolving environment, Atlantis Healthcare published a White Paper entitled "From Hospital to Home: The Changing Therapeutic Area of Oncology" featuring:

  • A look at the drivers and predictors behind nonadherence
  • Insights from patients
  • Findings from leading researchers
  • Clinical literature overview
  • Summary of interventions found to improve adherence to oral oncology drugs

Research indicates that nonadherence can have a significant impact beyond treatment efficacy, including increases in doctor visits, higher rates of hospitalization and longer hospital stays.

"If we can support cancer patients to adhere to their prescribed treatment, we are likely to improve quality of life and clinical outcomes, as well as reduce related healthcare costs," said Eliasson.  "The key is understanding the underlying beliefs that drive nonadherence so we can tailor interventions to change those unhelpful beliefs, which in turn leads to long term behavioral change and improved adherence."

For more information on Atlantis Healthcare's approach to treatment nonadherence, visit www.atlantishealthcare.com/us.

About Atlantis Healthcare
Established in 1993, Atlantis Healthcare creates and executes tailored patient support programs and personalized interventions to address treatment adherence across a wide range of chronic and acute diseases, worldwide.  Led by one of the world's largest health psychology teams, our patient-centric approach is designed to improve health outcomes and deliver optimal value for all healthcare stakeholders. 

Related Links:
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SOURCE Atlantis Healthcare