Last month was American Pharmacists Month!

What better way to celebrate than to recognize Flatiron’s Pharmacy Community and introduce the first edition of our new quarterly newsletter, Pill Press.

 

You may already be subscribed to Curbside, our clinical newsletter. While those in the pharmacy field are also clinicians, we wanted to create a resource specifically for oncology pharmacists. In Pill Press and within our Pharmacy Community, we’ll share relevant product updates, industry observations, and other important pharmacy-related news. You can manage your Communities subscriptions here.

 

I hope each of you took a moment last month to celebrate all your hard work and the unique contributions you make as oncology pharmacists. From increasing practice revenue to improving medication adherence and reducing rates of hospital admissions, the oncology pharmacist is a key player in improving care for cancer patients.

 

Here at Flatiron, we’ve grown our Clinical Oncology team to include eight board-certified oncology pharmacists to match the growth and presence of oncology pharmacists in the Flatiron Network. These pharmacists are dedicated to building best-in-class clinical content and embedded product development support to ensure that we deliver safe and effective products to your clinics. Through Pill Press, we hope to highlight each of their unique perspectives and how they contribute to the pharmacist mission of ensuring optimal medication therapy outcomes.

 

Happy reading!

Hopefully you’ve noticed that it’s much easier to find drugs in OncoEMR now.

At the end of last month, our product team released several enhancements to the Drug Search functionality in OncoEMR. We had received a lot of feedback from clinical users that this workflow was cumbersome, and that users often experienced issues such as screen lag when scrolling down the list of search results.

 

Now, when looking for a drug in the scriptwriter or medication reconciliation workflow, the search is much more flexible. You can search across brand or generic names, using portions and combinations of names, and drug strength. Detailed search results now show all active ingredients and other attributes like strength and route. Highlighting and tall-man lettering provide safety guardrails so you select the right drug (making it now much easier to tell the difference between oxytocin and oxyCONTIN). Finally, you can scroll through search results without the scroll freezing, and you can minimize and reopen the scriptwriter window without losing any of your progress. Users seem to like it so far!

“I love this feature. Especially the ability to minimize the window.”
—Jean Mellon, RN OCN, Virginia Cancer Institute

Biosimilars are on every oncology pharmacist’s mind right now!

The Journal of Hematology Oncology Pharmacy recently published a review of the full pipeline of oncology-specific biosimilars.

 

On June 13, Amgen’s Kanjinti (trastuzumab-anns) became the fifth trastuzumab biosimilar to be FDA approved in the U.S. With the patent for Herceptin expiring in June 2019, these products are poised to enter the U.S. market. Here’s our Flatiron primer on the five options for trastuzumab that are now approved.

Name Company Approval Phase 3 Trial What to know
Kanjinti
(trastuzumab-anns)
Amgen June 2019 LILAC
Adjuvant, n=827
Endpoint: pCR
Only biosimilar option which assessed clinical effect of a single transition from Herceptin to Kanjinti, which was found to be well tolerated (8% rate of grade 3 or greater adverse events)
Trazimera
(trastuzumab-qyyp)
Pfizer March 2019 REFLECTIONS B327-02
Metastatic, n=707
Endpoint: ORR
REFLECTIONS B327-04
Adjuvant, n=226
Endpoint: Ctrough
Clinical trial in the adjuvant setting utilized a non-inferiority design instead of the recommended equivalence study design
Ontruzant
(trastuzumab-dttb)
Merck January 2019 SB3
Adjuvant, n=875
Endpoint=pCR
Ontruzant will be available as a 150 mg single use vial while the other four trastuzumab biosimilars will be available as 420 mg multidose vials
Herzuma
(trastuzumab-pkrb)
Celltrion/Teva December 2018 CT-P6/3.2
Adjuvant, n=549
Endpoint: p
CRCT-P6/3.1
Metastatic, n=475
Endpoint: ORR
*not approved in HER2+ gastric cancer
Ogivri (trastuzumab-dkst) Mylan December 2017 HERiTAge
Metastatic, n=458
Endpoint: ORR
3-yr followup presented at ASCO 2019 showed no difference in long term efficacy and safety (source)

pCR= pathologic complete response ORR= overall response rate Ctrough= plasma trough concentration

*All products are approved for HER2-overexpressing adjuvant and metastatic breast cancer and gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma except where indicated otherwise.

What I’m reading:

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As always, please feel free to email me with any questions or feedback about Pill Press. It’s always great to hear from you.

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