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Dear ESOP Members,

ESOP July Newsletter includes the articles under the topics of Essential Requirements for Primary Care Interventions throughout the Cancer Care Continuum, Pharmacist- support in the Treatment and Care of Cancer Patients, Oncology Pharmacy in Germany, 44th EBMT Annual Meeting & 3rd Pharmacist Day and 3rd ESOP-ESO Advanced Masterclass.

There are oncology pharmacists in many parts of the world, but in what conditions do they work, what is the process of oncology pharmacy  in their countries? These are the subjects we want to know about each other a little bit more. For this you see in the current issue  an essay written by question and answer  method  about  ‘Oncology pharmacy in Germany’. 

‘The 3rd ESOP-ESO Advanced MasterClass ‘ contains statistical data and graphical results.
We wish you pleasant readings ...

Best regards,

Eda Gedikoglu

Chair of Publication

New version of our Quality standards for the oncology pharmacy service - QuapoS 6

Dear colleagues!

It is a great pleasure to present a new version of our quality standards for the oncology pharmacy service - QuapoS 6. The updated standards where approved by ESOP delegates and are now ready to publish. As with previous versions, Quapos needs to be translated into different languages and for that we need your help! Each member state has to organize translation into their local language.

Please make it happen!

Best regards,

Kristjan Kongi

Chair of QuapoS

Download here »


The educational meeting was held on 13 april 2018  in Skopje, with the attendence of hospital pharmacist, community pharmacist, nurses.

Scientiific program was included following topics:
Preparation of antineoplastic drugs, practise and experience (our guests lecturers was MPharm, spec. Mirjana Boskovic, from  Belgrade, Serbia  and MPharm. Angela Janeva, Acibadem Sistina Hospital)

QUAPOS  (MPharm.spec.O;livera Spasovska)

Side effects of immunotherapy in patients with malignant diseases (MD Biljana Grozdanovska, University Clinic of radiotherapy and oncology

Complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of malignant diseases (PhD Svetlana Kulevanova, Faculty of pharmacy)

Management of gastrointestinal side effects associated with chemotherapy (PhD Aleksandra KapedanovskaNestorovska, Faculty of pharmacy)

A cancer patient in community pharmacy (MPharm.spec. Dahna Arbanas, Karlovac, Croatia)

Essential Requirements for Primary Care Interventions Throughout the Cancer Care Continuum

16th May 2018

Two meetings have taken place at the ECCO offices in Brussels in February and May 2018. ECCO has brought together representatives from all professions including carers and patient representatives to agree on the essential requirements of cancer care in the primary care setting. Some of the organisations present included: ESTRO, ECL, ESSO, European Carers, OACI, ESO, PAC, WONCA, COTEC, IPOS, PGEU and EFPC. The process aimed to integrate primary cancer care with secondary and/ or tertiary settings. The number of cancer survivors in contact with primary care is greater than in secondary or tertiary care. Considering the comorbidities associated with increasing age and polypharmacy, cancer cannot be viewed on its own but the whole picture of the patient needs to be seen in primary care.

Meetings were successful with the first draft paper being agreed upon. The paper will be represented for final discussion at the ECCO Cancer Summit in Vienna in September 2018. Two common issues which came out from all representatives were the importance of education and having an IT interface through which healthcare professionals in primary care can collaborate with secondary and or tertiary care. Education of community pharmacists (CPs) is crucial since with the rise of oral chemotherapy use in the community setting, CPs are continually faced with issues such as how to manage side-effects from oral chemotherapy or when to refer to GPs in primary to tertiary care. Empowering CPs with the right information on cancer patients and their treatment is crucial to safeguard and follow-up the patient. Adherence issues on oral chemotherapy can also be followed by CPs so empowering the CPs with the required information on chemotherapy is crucial. Having an IT interface is important for CPs to be able to determine the drug treatment the patient is receiving inside or outside of hospital and identify any potential drug interactions. CPs are also in an excellent position to identify cancer symptoms and refer accordingly.

The ESOP EPIC project on oral chemotherapy is a good milestone on reaching out to CPs with particular emphasis on education regarding chemotherapy drugs. This project is to reach out to other countries in June 2018. Furthermore the education ESOP offers through Masterclasses, Congresses, webinars and board certification for oncology pharmacists are other opportunities for continuing education for primary care pharmacists.

Reported by Fiona Bonanno, Malta

3rd ESOP-ESO Advanced MasterClass

ESOP Community in its prime!

The 3rd ESOP-ESO Advanced MasterClass in Oncology Pharmacy took place in Lisbon from the 22nd to the 26th of May 2017.
Those five days the timetable was full of lectures and workshops, in which a friendly atmosphere prevailed among the participants. The lectures covered a large range of clinical topics regarding cancer pathophysiology and anticancer agents. Some of the most important points are summarized below:

  • Clinical cases covering different types of cancer
  • Pharmaceutical cases that may occur in the clinical setting
  • Complex situations
  • Drug interaction and side effects of anticancer agents
  • Toxicities and symptom management
  • The clinical use of radiotherapy in different tumors
  • Patient counseling
  • Pharmaco-economics

At the end of the 3rd Advanced MasterClass, a survey was performed among the participants. The purpose of the evaluation was to feel the pulse of the participants regarding the organization of Masterclass, in order to improve the upcoming events. The evaluation form, which was filled in by 26 (out of 29) participants, revealed interesting points.
First of all, the vast majority of the respondents (85%) agreed that the event was excellent or very good as an overall judgment (Graph 1). Also, this great majority was very satisfied with the educational level of Masterclass, as it is presented on Graph 2.
Graph 1: Overall Judgment

Graph 2:
Educational level

The fact that most of the respondents (24 out of 26, while the rest 2 did not answer this question) believed that the scientific lectures were freed from promotional material, highlights the unbiased background of the Advanced MasterClass.
Also, most of the respondents learned about this event through ESOP Website and ESOP email. In addition, the news of the event was also spread out via personal recommendation and Google search (Graph 3).
Graph 3: Sources of MasterClass conduction

Furthermore, the participants were quite pleased with the organization and the social aspects of the 5-days MasterClass. More specifically, the registration process, the exhibition, the catering and the overall organization were some of the aspects which were evaluated as excellent or very good by the majority of the respondents.

The Advanced MasterClass provided successfully most of the learning outcomes. As it is presented on Graph 4, participants were very pleased with the quality of the education offered at the Advanced MasterClass. Also, the presented data helped the participants to understand in depth the relevant information regarding clinical topics, while collaborations at European level were promoted. In addition, the respondents were very satisfied with the discussed issues regarding the evolution of oncology pharmacy, towards clinical pharmacy and patient education.
Graph 4: Goals and Learning outcomes

On the survey, participants noted the highlights of the Advanced Masterclass. So according to them, there was a high level of information provided, including a great range of cancer types. That information was very well organized, in a way that the pharmacists can easily use it in their work routine, while all the lecture notes and slides were sent to a common Dropbox, so that everyone can have access on them. Moreover, the case studies and workshops were very interesting, promoting interaction between the participants and helping them to apply the knowledge gained at the lectures. Also, the participants agreed that most of the speakers were very inspiring and their presentations were full of useful information.
However, comments on the MasterClass weaknesses were also taken into consideration, as well as the suggestions made by the participants aiming at a future improvement of the Masterclass. More specifically, respondents stated that lectures should start and finish on time so there are, as less as possible, delays. Also, onco-pathology topics must be enhanced at the future programme, for example the analysis and treatment of lung cancer and multiple myeloma should be added. Furthermore, better organization of the notes sent at the Dropbox is suggested. In addition, Masterclass programme should include more case study sessions because they are more interactive and give chance to the pharmacists to share experiences from their clinical practice.
In conclusion, participants of the 3rd Advanced MasterClass had a great opportunity to improve their knowledge on oncology topics and reinforce the knowledge gained by the Basic and Intermediate Masterclass. Also, they had the chance to meet new people from all over the world and exchange ideas and experiences. There is only one conclusion to be made: the 3rd ESOP-ESO Advanced MasterClass was crowned with success!

Klio Bourika
MSc Clinical Pharmacist
Athens, Greece

44th EBMT Annual Meeting & 3rd Pharmacists Day

44th EBMT Annual Meeting was held in Lisbon from 18th to 21th March. The 3rd  Pharmacist day, took place on March 20th  and the  program  included 3 session with topics that focus on safer and more effective transplantations and challenges in a BMT unit for the pharmacist. The lectures included a variety of topics like pharmaceutical technology , video camera system that improves safety in preparation of chemotherapy, optimization of  conditioning regimens  in old patients and patients with acute leukemia and drug  interaction in HSCT treatments. Individualization of drug therapy with PK/PD ATG and Bussulfan TDM - a Clinical Practice in Europe and in a single center in Lisbon and Drug Shortages in a Stem Cell Transplantation Unit were also discussed.
We also have session about new hot topics like immune-monitoring in HCT and cell base therapies the CAR-T cells. This new  technology brings new challengers for Pharmacist, managing a complex multi-step production process and the logistics of the pharmacotherapy and toxicities of CAR T cells and the role of pharmacist in the JACIE process. We could discuss about this two topics in the last session.
During the annual meeting the EBMT Board as launched the 1st Pharmacist Committee, in recognition of the important role of the Pharmacist  in the HSCT multidisciplinary team. The first chair is Tiene Bauters from Ghent University Hospital and will prepare the Pharmacist’s Day during the EBMT Annual Meeting.. The Pharmacist Committee aims to provide specific training and education, specific case series discussion, training into fundamental basis of HSCT and to prepare the Pharmacist’s Day during the EBMT Annual Meeting.
The 4th Pharmacist days will be held in March 2019 during the 45th EBMT Annual Meeting in Frankfurt, Germany.

Reported by Vera Pires & Vera Domingos, Portugal

Oncology Pharmacy in Germany

1. Who can be an oncology pharmacist?

Every pharmacist

2. Do you have an oncology pharmacy training or internship? Can you describe the process in detail?

Further training “Oncology pharmacist” for pharmaceutical technician
Certified training “Oncology pharmacy” for pharmacists
Over 1,600 pharmacists have already participated in this training in the last 18 years
The pharmacists acquire the title of “Oncology pharmacist DGOP” when they have completed all seminars (5 seminars – 100 hours) successfully in front of the Examination Commission of the DGOP (Germany society for oncology pharmacy).
The certificate training “Competent care of tumor patients” (24 hours) is aimed at all pharmacists who focus their time providing direct patient care and advising and supporting oncological facilities. After attending this training including successful online-learning control, DGOP (Germany society for oncology pharmacy) awards the certificate of “Competent care of tumor patients”.
All seminars depend on the active involvement of the participants. The speakers are experts in their area of expertise and guarantee a first- class quality of the seminars and webinars.

3. Is it mandatory to work oncology pharmacist in the oncology clinics?

No, It isn’t.

4. Where do oncology pharmacists work? Where do they work most?

Hospital pharmacy
Retail pharmacy
Contract manufacturer

5. What are the duties and responsibilities of the oncology pharmacists?

  • Competent care of tumor patients
  • Clinical oncological practice
  • Compounding and dispensing of chemotherapy drugs
  • Information
  • Contribution to cancer research by leading clinical studies

6. Is there an oncology pharmacy association? How many members do the association have? Please give information about the association’s works.

1200 members

7. Where is the oncology medicines provided from?

Hospital pharmacy
Retail pharmacy
Contract manufacturer

8. Where can patients take treatments? Are these treatments paid by the country? Please explain.

Hospitals, Medical practices,  At home

Thanks to Otto von Bismarck, Germany has the world’s oldest national health insurance system, dating back to the late 1880s. All residents of Germany are required by law to have health insurance. Everyone who has statutory health insurance in Germany is entitled to the same health care if they get ill. The unemployed, retirees, or those on welfare get government-paid coverage. Payments to doctors, the hospital, or a health spa for in-patient or out-patient care go directly to the health care provider.

Some people living in Germany have private health insurance. Only people who fulfill certain criteria can have private health insurance. In this case people generally have to pay for diagnostic procedures, treatments and medication themselves at first. Then they send the receipt or bill to their insurer, and the costs are reimbursed.

9. Are there any planned arrangements in the future? Please explain.

Currently the projects already started are running, such as:

  • Initiative “Oral cancer treatment” by the German society of oncology pharmacy (DGOP) and the German cancer society (DKG)
  • EU Project “Empowering pharmacists to improve health care for oral chemotherapy patients (EPIC)”

Reported by  Irina Anischuk & Eva-Maria Schöning, Germany

European Society of Oncology Pharmacy
Veritaskai 6, D 21079 Hamburg
Tel: 0049 - 40 466 500 300
Mail: membershipservice@esop.li

Fax: 0049 - 40 466 500 100
Web: www.esop.li

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