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Pharmacy (Basel). 2020 Mar 18;8(1). pii: E43. doi: 10.3390/pharmacy8010043.

Oncology Pharmacists Can Reduce the Projected Shortfall in Cancer Patient Visits: Projections for Years 2020 to 2025.

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Touro University California College of Pharmacy, Vallejo, CA 94592, USA.


Based on the projected need for a larger oncology care workforce, we estimated the patient care visits and care activities that Board Certified oncology pharmacists (BCOPs) could contribute to oncology care from 2020-2025. Using projected counts for BCOPs through 2025, we estimated that 2.9-4.1 million 30-min BCOP patient visits were possible at 50% workforce capacity. BCOPs' clinical activities overlapped strongly with those of nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) in patient education and treatment management. BCOPs could help reduce provider stress and burnout concerns by spreading these activities across a broader set of providers. BCOPs were more active than NPs and PAs in clinical trials research. Recent advances in immunotherapy, pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics, and oral oncolytic agents make the medication-focused training of OPs particularly useful to care teams. Comparison also showed that BCOPs were less active in providing follow-up visits and prescribing. Fulfilling the projected BCOP numbers through 2025 will require continued growth in Postgraduate Year 2 (PGY2) oncology pharmacy resident programs and on-the-job training programs. Our review of the trends in cancer incidence, mortality, and survivorship suggest a sustained need for the activities of BCOPs and other oncology care providers.


Board Certified oncology pharmacists; advanced practice providers; and cancer statistics; cancer care models; cancer incidence; cancer mortality; cancer survivorship; cancer trends; nurse practitioners; oncology pharmacists; oncology pharmacy residencies; oncology pharmacy residents; physician assistants

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