Oral Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

Closing the gap: Educating community pharmacists on oral antineoplastic treatments (#89)

Aisling Kelly 1 , Julia Shingleton 1 , Sarah Tomkins 1 , Tina Y Chen 1 , Niamh O'Neill 2 , Sue Bond 3 , Shelley Rushton 1
  1. Cancer Institute NSW, Eveleigh, NSW, Australia
  2. Nothern Beaches Cancer Service, Manly/Mona Vale Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  3. Head-Guild Learning and Development, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Melbourne, VIC, Australia


Oral antineoplastics should be subject to the same rigorous safety control and procedures as those administered by other routes. Staff dispensing oral antineoplastics in the community must have appropriate skills and training to verify oral cancer therapy.1  


To educate community pharmacists about the supply, safe handling, adverse effects, supportive therapies and potential issues surrounding oral antineoplastic treatment, ensuring optimal patient care.


In November 2015, an interactive online course encompassing six modules was developed following a rigorous governance and evaluation process, with an associated dissemination and implementation strategy. The modules were reviewed in November 2016 with version 2 being released in July 2017. Development and review included consultation with an external Clinical Advisory Committee, ensuring content addressed issues encountered in the community pharmacy setting.


The modules were hosted by several community pharmacy organisations in addition to being available on eviQ Education.

  • Course completion and evaluation data provided by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia during the first 8 months demonstrated a high level of interaction with 2130 pharmacists. Results suggest completing the course has contributed to professional growth with a positive impact on practice.
  • Online analytics were established for eviQ Education in February 2017. Since then, 425 pharmacists have accessed the course via this platform. Survey functionality allowing for pre and post course comparison of attributes such as self reported confidence have subsequently been added to offer deeper insight into the delivery of online content and identify areas for improvement.


Community pharmacists are uniquely placed to provide patients with education regarding oral antineoplastics. eviQ is looking to use participant feedback to explore new opportunities and support oncology pharmacists to build links with community pharmacists to help them deliver a high standard of care to patients.

  1. Cancer Therapy Medication Safety Working Group. COSA guidelines for the safe prescribing, dispensing and administration of systemic cancer therapy. Sydney: Cancer Council Australia (2017).