Pharmacist-Led Counseling on Patients Taking Oral Anticancer Drugs

By LEE Lap Ho, Roger, R. Ph. (MSc in Clinical Pharmacy)


This study was decided to evaluate the outcome of pharmacist-led counseling on patients taking oral anticancer drugs, by comparing the patients’ satisfaction and understanding on their oral agents.


In the past, majority of anticancer medications were in the form of intravenous drugs, in which the treatments were carried out in hospital settings. Nurses and physicians can monitor for the compliance and side effects. Nowadays, the role of oral therapy has become more significant in anticancer treatments. Patients usually need to take their oral anticancer drugs at their home, and they have to be responsible for their compliance and side effect management. From literature, it was shown that pharmacist-led counseling can improve the patients’ satisfaction on the patients taking oral anticancer drugs.


Questionnaire with six open scale questions were used to assess the patients’ experience about the current oral anticancer therapy to collect the pre-study data. Telephone follow-up calls were given to patients taking oral anticancer drugs by pharmacists, and then the same six questions were asked after the phone call to collect the post-study data.


Patients are more confident in handling the possible side effects caused by their oral anticancer drugs (score increased from 3.85 to 4.14 out of 5), and patients care more satisfied with the supportive service provided regarding their oral anticancer drugs (score increased from 4.09 to 4.33 out of 5).


Pharmacist-led counseling showed promising results in improving patients’ understanding and satisfaction. It is worth to invest more resource in pharmacist-led counseling service especially in the oncology field.