HOPA Publications Committee

Ashley Glode, PharmD BCOP, Chair

Megan Bodge, PharmD BCOP, Vice Chair

Edward Li, PharmD, Board Liaison

Brandi Anders, PharmD BCOP

Morgan Belling, PharmD

Megan Brafford May, PharmD BCOP

Lisa M. Cordes, PharmD BCOP BCACP

Morgan E. Culver, PharmD BCOP

Craig W. Freyer, PharmD BCOP

Marc Geirnaert, BSc Pharm

Carolyn Oxencis, PharmD BCOP BCPS

Christan M. Thomas, PharmD BCOP

Sarah Ussery, PharmD BCOP

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Board Update: The Value Proposition

about board bio sarah scarpace
Sarah Scarpace Peters, PharmD MPH BCOP
HOPA President

What does it mean to provide value in cancer care? This was a central question posed to a record-breaking number of attendees at the 4th Annual HOPA Oncology Pharmacy Practice Management Program (PMP), held September 23–24, 2016, in Chicago, IL. Peter Bach, MD MPP, served as the first-ever keynote speaker for the PMP and kicked off the meeting with his talk “The Underbelly of Drug Pricing.” Certainly, HOPA pharmacists deal with the financial toxicity of cancer drug therapies daily; the bigger policy questions that surround drug pricing and the overall cost of cancer care often seem overwhelming and beyond the control of any one of us in our daily practice. That is precisely why the PMP and HOPA’s Health Policy Committee are so important. Collectively, we can make a difference in offering solutions to these complex problems on a larger scale. 

In the last issue of HOPA News, I wrote about HOPA’s many new and ongoing collaborations with external groups, including our invitation to participate in former Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Summit. Our industry partners also recognize the importance of carefully evaluating various value frameworks—summarized so eloquently by HOPA member Kasia Shields, PharmD MBA BCOP BCPS, in her presentation at the PMP—to make sure that they include all the important data points that comprise the value proposition (for example, ensuring that the cost of drug therapies is included among the many aspects of cancer care that drive cost and ensuring that clinical domain experts participate in the creation of these tools). HOPA’s Health Policy Committee commented on the newest framework to be released by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER); the letter can be found on our website at The HOPA Board, Industry Relations Council (IRC) Workgroup, and IRC participants had a robust discussion about these issues as well as the issue of drug waste during the 6th annual IRC Summit held just before to the PMP.

I was pleased to represent HOPA at the Discern Health/American Society of Clinical Oncology roundtable on Improving Oncology Measurement for Accountable Care on September 16, where we collectively determined that our traditional measures of value are outdated and uninformative and that more attention needs to be given to including patient-reported outcomes in clinical trials and captured in medical records for practice-based research initiatives. On the same day, board member Ed Li represented HOPA at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Biosimilar Summit, and on September 28 and 29, he represented us at the Institution for Clinical Immuno-Oncology and Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) regional meetings; both meetings had elements of measuring value in cancer care as themes. It is important to ensure that the expertise and viewpoint of the oncology pharmacist continue to be included in those conversations. These collaborations are also an important way to effect large-scale changes in healthcare so that perhaps in the future, all practitioners in cancer care can spend more time on clinical practice and less time on administrative tasks to facilitate care. 

HOPA is excited to announce that after many years of discussion, we are going to venture into regional meetings. Rather than offer independent programming, we are partnering with ACCC to showcase HOPA programs that are both clinical and administrative as a way to connect with cancer center administrators (ACCC’s primary membership base) and demonstrate the value of the hematology/oncology pharmacist. Watch for the program to be held in March 2017 in Austin, TX. 

In support of the role of HOPA members in the value proposition in cancer care, we are pleased that four important task forces began their work in September. Three of these task forces were established to create tools and resources to support practice: the Entry-Level Competencies Task Force will establish outcome statements and create templates that will be helpful for training pharmacy students and PGY-1 pharmacy practice residents, the Pharmacist-Patient Partnership Task Force will create documents that patients can use to facilitate conversations with their pharmacist to help optimize their cancer treatment experience, and the Scope of Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Practice Part II will update and add additional detail to the original 2010 document to better assist HOPA members in establishing roles, responsibilities, and new positions for their teams. The fourth task force, the Value of the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacist Task Force, will start its work soon and be responsible for conducting a literature review of hematology/oncology pharmacist services, identifying gaps in the literature, and proposing a research framework for HOPA to facilitate its research goal in the 2016–2020 Strategic Plan, to establish HOPA as a leader in research of hematology/oncology pharmacy intervention and impact.

The Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist (BCOP) Recertification Program continues to be a major endeavor, led by HOPA board members Ryan Bookout and Heidi Finnes and supported by dozens of dedicated HOPA members on the five committees in our BCOP infrastructure. We had 50 attendees at our Oncology Pharmacy Updates Course in Orlando in July and more than 50 attendees at the Conference Specialty Sessions Repeat at the PMP. We continue to evaluate the feedback from all the program offerings and value your input! Your constructive comments will help us make future programming even better. Now is a good time to take the tests that you’ve been putting off and to delve into the self-study course!