Pharmacy Week in Review: Chemotherapy Use on the Rise, Pharmacists Play a Role in Skin Cancer Prevention

Published Online: Friday, May 17th, 2019

This weekly video program provides our readers with an in-depth review of the latest news, product approvals, FDA rulings, and more. Our Week in Review is a can't miss for the busy pharmacy professional.


Hello and welcome to the Pharmacy Times News Network. I’m Nicole Grassano your host for our Pharmacy Week in Review.

Pharmacists have a role to play in helping patients prevent and seek treatment for skin cancer, Pharmacy Times reported. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with more cases diagnosed each year than all other cancers combined. In fact, about 20% of the US population will develop the disease by age 70. According to the article, several types of skin cancer exist, but the 3 most common are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Sun safety habits, including avoiding sunburns, tans, and UV tanning beds, are core to prevention of all skin cancers. Pharmacists can help patients with prevention and advise them to seek treatment from a doctor when necessary.

As May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, the National Pest Management Association is educating homeowners about how to prevent allergen buildup, Contemporary Clinic reported. More than 60 million people in the United States suffer from asthma and allergies, including 6 million children. To best aid patient’s sensitivities to pest allergens, the NPMA suggests keeping areas such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens, meticulously clean, while regularly washing bed linens and sheets in hot water. The organization would also like to warn patients that it is critical to contact a licensed pest control professional at the first signs of infestation.

By 2040, 15 million individuals each year will need chemotherapy, amounting to a 53% increase from 2018, Specialty Pharmacy Times reported. A landmark study published in Lancet Oncology is the first of its kind to estimate the scale of chemotherapy provision needed on global, national, and regional scales to respond to this situation. According to the study results, the estimated proportion of patients needing chemotherapy showed a 53% relative increase from 2018 to 2040, with 67% of these patients residing in low- or middle-income countries in 2040. Population growth and changes in distributions of cancer types by country may be the leading drivers of this increase in chemotherapy demand, the authors of the study noted.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Otezla, if patients have seen a recent commercial for the prescription medication. In the spot, called “Little Things: Pool and Family Dinner,” the narrator explains how plaque psoriasis can make the little things, such as going to the pool or meeting your future in-law, into a big deal. According to the commercial, Otezla is a pill designed to help clear skin caused by moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

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Thanks for watching our Pharmacy Week in Review. I’m Nicole Grassano at the Pharmacy Times News Network.

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