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Dear ESOP Members,

We have left behind the 4th European Congress of Oncology Pharmacy (ECOP4). We are happy to meet our friends, meet new people and share information in the congress held in Nantes, France. Thanks to all participants...

November newsletter includes the texts under the topics of Oncology Pharmacy in Spain, New plan for �good health� in France, ECOP4 in Nantes and Leukemia care lecture at ECOP4.

We wish you enjoyable readings…

Best regards,

Eda Gedikoglu

Chair of Publication


1. Who can be an oncology pharmacist?

The current Pharmacy University Degree consists of five years of theoretical and practical training, including 6 months of supervised professional experience (community or hospital).
After graduating, in order to work as a hospital pharmacist you need to become “Hospital Pharmacist Specialist”. This degree is compulsory in the country. The specialization program is performed totally at the hospital (not at university) through a very complete “Residency program”. There is a limited number of hospitals approved to offer this program in the country:

  • Residency programme: period (4 years) of practical training at hospital, paid, programmed and supervised where the resident acquire in a progressive way the knowledge and professional responsibilities needed for his efficient work as a hospital pharmacist specialist
  • Program similar to physicians. Same training system. The fourth year was implemented quite recently, in 2000. This 4th year involves clinical rotations in different units (oncology, pediatrics, ICU, etc.)
  • The access is not opened to everybody; the number of attendants is limited per year. The candidates need to pass a national exam in order to enter into the program.  
  • This is really a very important aspect. Our specialisation follows the same model of the medical specialisations. The structure is parallel to the medical specializations. This aspect is crucial when you want to interact with them in the clinical team. Hospital pharmacists have the same status as physicians and you are at the same hierarchical position and the Pharmacy department has the same hierarchical structure to medical departments

Considering the post-specialisation education in oncology, the continuing education of hospital pharmacists is mostly organised and promoted by our National society SEFH through our Oncology working group GEDEFO.

The different activities include attending courses, courses on-line, distance learning courses, etc.

Maybe the most important educational program that GEDEFO has developed in order to deepen the Oncology knowledge has been the program to achieve the BCOP certificate in oncology by BPS (Board of Pharmacy Specialties) of the USA. Spain is now the second country in the world, after USA, in number of certified Oncology Pharmacists through this program. 

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

The key aspects of the BCOP program are:

  • Hospital pharmacist specialist
  • Three year experience in a pharmacy dept. with high activity in oncology
  • High – Intermediate English level
  • Enough enthusiasm and dedication to accomplish the preparation throughout one year time

Teaching methodology

  • 3-4 Meetings:
    • 3 intensive educational weekends to prepare the exams (High qualified teachers in collaboration with SEOM )
    • Last session: instructions for exam, doubts, review
  • Combines individual personal work (supervised) + presence lessons

Duration: November – October

Teaching methodology: sessions

  • Applicants prepare the topics before meetings  (educational materials)
  • Test pre-meeting (15 questions)
  • Lessons of 1,5 h: theory and debate to discuss topics through questions and possible answers
  • At the end of the day the applicant receive a CD with all the presentations
  • On the last meeting applicants present clinical cases
  • Personal supervision: time to solve doubts, email...

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

It’s not mandatory but is recommended.

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

The oncology pharmacist is an integral member of the cancer care team, who participate in clinical rounds, spends their time in the outpatient and inpatient unit.

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

The oncology pharmacist is involved in the whole Chemotherapy loop. From Prescription to administration. He/She as active collaboration in all the steps 
As an example, some of the main duties and responsibilities of the oncology pharmacists include:

  • Checking chemotherapy prescriptions and supportive drug prescriptions, administration before prescription validation.
  • Evaluation of treatment guidelines for nausea and vomiting, mucositis, fever of unknown origin, extravasation.
  • Clinical consultations and monitors drug therapy, for example, adjusting the dosage of a treatment, checking drug interactions, etc.
  • Chemotherapy preparation
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring of oncology drugs, immunosupressors.
  • Patient education and counselling, pharmacist advice on how to take the drugs, side effects, etc.

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

GEDEFO is the Oncology Pharmacy group that is part of the National Hospital Pharmacy Association. GEDEFO is a big group, with more than 200 members. Our main objective is to promote Oncology Pharmacy through professional activities and meetings in order to improve oncology education.

7. Where is the oncology medicines provided from?

Oncology drugs are provided from the hospital pharmacy, just symptom control drugs are dispensed through community pharmacies. So, the oncology pharmacist is informed of patients treatments, can advice on all the oral treatments, follow the adherence to the oral chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs are not usually dispensed through community pharmacies.

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

Most of the oncology treatments are free for the patients, because our National Health Service, acting through the different regional health services, covers oncology treatments.

9.Are there any planned arrangements in the future?

GEDEFO is reinforcing the collaboration with other oncology health care societies trying to develop collaborative position papers or other documents. As a result of this the role and activity of the oncology pharmacist becomes even stronger.  

Reported by Estela Moreno Martinez, Spain

ECOP4 in Nantes

4th European Congress of Oncology Pharmacy (ECOP4) was held on 25-27th October  in Nantes, France. Presentations and workshops were held on current topics which provide a distinct multi-professional setting and multidisciplinary approach to promote the highest standards of pharmaceutical care in the management and support of patients with tumours. The target audence of the congress was not only oncology pharmacists but also hospital pharmacists, community pharmacists, medical oncologists, oncology physicians, pharmacy nurses, pharma industry. Approximately 470 participants from around 50 countries attended to the congress. At the opening ceremony our French friends performed an enjoyable music show with Breton.

ESOP  president  Klaus Meier explained the 2025 proposal was thought as a beginning of discussions in the next year in all member countries in order to collect their different opinions and views and to present a future paper at the next delegate meeting in September 2019. Participants answered the questions about oncology pharmacy in the future by participating in the online survey.

The congress included presentations by professionals from all over the world. ESOP carries out academic and field work with seriousness and determination and strengthens it with project groups. It tries to shed light on the oncology pharmacists, one of the most important stakeholders in the care and treatment of cancer patients, and emphasizes the importance of the union.

Klaus Meier Award 2018  was given to Camille Groos, Per Hartvig Honoré Award 2018 to Dr. Christophe Bardin and Best Poster Award 2018 to Sara García Gil Congratulations to the winners!

We also have the opportunity to get to know the cities we go in the congresses. The historical texture of the city of Nantes at the Atlantic and the beautiful nature of the autumn were perfect together. Participants had the chance to taste the fine French cuisine.

In the same time, ESOP board , ESOP delegates and all the ESOP members are also members of a large family.  Shares continue, new friendships are established and friendships are strengthened. We invite all Oncology Pharmacists to be part of this great family. We believe that by the time we multiply, we become stronger. When we walk the same purpose, we move faster on this road.

Wish to meet you at  ECOP5 in Malta  ...

Repored by Eda Gedikoğlu, Turkey

ESOP Delegate meeting was held on 24th October 2018 in Nantes with 40 country delegates participitation.


At ECOP 4 in Nantes, Mister N. York gave a lecture on patient perspectives with regard to leukemia cancer care. Mister York of Leukaemia Care UK works with the National Cancer Research Institute as a clinical study group consumer member and is also a member of the steering committee of the global CLL Advocacy Network.

A novel project that he highlighted in the lecture is the “Spot Leukemia” programme, which was developed to improve awareness for the signs and symptoms of leukaemia, amongst both the public and the healthcare professionals who can aid in earlier diagnosis (such as general practitioners, general practice nurses and pharmacists).

You can learn more about this programme by visiting the website www.leukaemiacare.org.uk/get-involved/our-campaigns/living-with-leukaemia/

There are also online teaching modules available here: https://www.leukaemiacare.org.uk/support-and-information/for-healthcare-professionals/gp-online-training-tool/

For this important programme, the leukemia care consortium is looking for pharmacists to play a role in the advisory board. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Nick York by email: Nick.York@leukaemiacare.org.uk

Reported by Mirjam Crul, Holland

New plan for �good health� in France

The French Ministry for Health and Solidarity, Agnes Buzyn, which is an Onco-hematologist, has launch an ambitious plan to allow the French population TO "BORN, GROW, LIVE AND AGING IN GOOD HEALTH"
It is a comprehensive plan that takes into account anything that can have a positive or negative impact on the person's state of health: fight against addictions, education, sport, screening, vaccination, and air quality. Many other ministries are mobilized.
It concerns all stages of life because risks and environments change over time.

It is turned towards a logic of efficiency: "for each age group and for each risk, it targets what works, it generalizes, facilitates, informs, financially supports," said the Prime Minister. Edouard Philippe
This plan represents an investment of 400 million € over 5 years and includes 25 measures adapted to the different ages of life.
This plan is mainly oriented to the prevention. In This area, pharmacists are a key intermediate with the public since they are the health professionals closest to the public. Thus, they can give important message of prevention.

  • Better prevent risky consumption during pregnancy

The plan aims to increase the visibility of the message "zero alcohol during pregnancy" by better informing women of the risks involved. 1 in 1000 children is born today with a disability related to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

  • Prevent hearing risks in young people

Launch of a national awareness campaign and identification of hearing disorders among young people aged 15 to 16 (risks induced by bad use of headsets).

  • Experiment with the Condom Pass for under 25s

This is a sexual health prevention program that will include the introduction of a card giving free access to condoms. It must be remembered that barely 53% of young people aged 15 to 24 used a condom during their last sexual encounter.

  • Generalize influenza vaccination by pharmacists (in 2019)

Last January, the Government made the 11 vaccines that were only recommended for young children mandatory. Since experiences of vaccination by CPS were a great success, this possibilities will by extended
The logic of prevention is also a corner stone in the fight against cancer since more than 50 % of all the cancers may be prevented.  As an example, no smoking or quitting tobacco is immeasurably more efficient than spending huge amounts of money on claimed “innovative drugs” to try to treat lung cancer. Thus, in the cancer area, some measures will interest CPS such as:

  • Pay directly for smoking cessation aids

This measure replaces the withdrawal assistance package of € 150 per year currently in place. This removes the brakes related to the systematic advance of fees and the same tariff for a product throughout the territory. France currently has 13 million smokers. Tobacco kills 73,000 people each year in France. Lung cancer is becoming the leading cause of cancer death among women (10,000 deaths in 2017). In this area, community pharmacists which deliver these products will be an invaluable aid.

  • Introduce a national organized screening program for cervical cancer

As is the case for breast cancer and colorectal cancer, screening will be 100% (for all women who have not smeared in the last 3 years).
This goal is also very important for CPs since more and rapid “diagnosis”  tests are available in community pharmacy . Thus, pharmacists can help patients  to perform tests and to discuss it with the patient.
Finally, and very importantly, the Ministry of Health strongly support  a pluridisciplinary approach of cancer patient care, including the CPs. It is perfectly on the line of the ECCO recommendations, as very recently claimed during the last ECCO meeting in Vienna.  In this way, pharmacists must be “on the front“ and  explain  tireless what kind of services they can propose to the patients.

Reported by Alain Astier, France

European Society of Oncology Pharmacy
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Tel: 0049 - 40 466 500 300
Mail: membershipservice@esop.li

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

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