ANCHOR LEAD: When it comes to treating cancer, pharmacists can play a key role in helping patients understand their medications and they often collaborate with physicians for the best outcomes. This week, ASHP and the ASHP Foundation are offering important advice for patients starting chemotherapy. Brian Osuch has more. (:60)
SCRIPT: Health Care Now, I'm Brian Osuch. The CDC estimates that every year 650,000 cancer patients receive chemotherapy in outpatient oncology clinics across the country. It's Patient Safety Awareness Week, and Lorraine Lee, executive director of corporate pharmacy services at Yale-New Haven Health System, says there are a few things patients should have in place before starting treatment.
CUT: (Lee) It's important to have a family member or friend who can help you manage your care, understand all the medications you're taking and also help you obtain them from your local pharmacy or mail order service. You should also make a list of all your medications and take that list with you to every appointment.
SCRIPT: Lee says patients may end up taking additional medications to minimize the side effects of chemotherapy.
CUT: (Lee) Take all medications exactly as directed or they may not work properly. If you miss a dose, don't double up. Don't stop taking a medication because of a minor or unpleasant side effect and talk with your pharmacist. We can help you with all of these issues.
SCRIPT: For more information, visit safemedication.com. That's Health Care Now from the ASHP Foundation.
This media asset is free for editorial broadcast, print, online and radio use. It is restricted for use for other purposes.