Scott Simpson - CAPhO19 Summary Report

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Scott Simpson and I’ve been practicing in oncology pharmacy for the past 7 years at the adult outpatient oncology clinic at the Horizon Health Hospital in Miramichi, New Brunswick.  Our seven bed satellite clinic provides treatments as well as clinical pharmacy services to those battling both solid tumor and hematological malignancies.  We service a large area of northern New Brunswick, which has some of the highest incidences of cancers in our province, and our service and patient numbers continue to expand.  

I was very fortunate and appreciative to receive a “Wild Card” travel grant this year, which enabled me to attend the Candian Association of Pharmacy in Oncology Conference in Halifax, as well as the in-person Drug Interaction in Oncology Workshop.  In essence, my conference initiated last fall, when I completed both phase 1 and 2 of CAPhO’s Drug Interaction program, and culminated this spring with the interactive, small group workshop which preceded the conference.  This was an excellent format for such a broad subject, and really solidified the knowledge gained from the previous programs.  Many thanks to our facilitators:  Tara, Glenn and Jennifer on a job well done!!!  

The economic realities of an aging population have not been lost on healthcare budgets or on cancer care expenditures.  Oncology pharmacists need to be prepared for the continued introduction of biosimilar agents and be ready to facilitate this transition.  The conference provided a solid foundation in meeting this reality, it was the first time (to my knowledge) that “clinical equivalency” and “transitioning” were the preferred terms used when discussing the subject as opposed to “biosimilar” and “switching”.   

As the use of cyclin–dependent kinase 4/6 inhibitors in the management breast cancer continues to expand, so does the opportunity for oncology pharmacist to assist in the management of these patients.  Through the knowledge gained at the conference, I feel more confident in my management of patients on these therapies.     

The CAPhO conference has always been invaluable learning experience in my opinion, and this year was no exception.   Through scientific advancement and treatment development, many cancers are now viewed as a chronic disease rather than a death sentence.  As such many cancer patients can and want to be treated closer to their home, which can be quite a distance from their oncologist and tertiary hospital.  It’s therefore imperative to have qualified trained personnel in these rural areas to ensure safe holistic cancer care for these patients.  Living and practicing in a rural area, the CAPhO conference has always been an essential pillar in ensuring my professional competency.

Many thanks to the CAPhO Board of Directors and conference organizers on yet another successful conference.  The benefits from my attendance have not only be realized by myself, but also the clinic staff, the patients and their families. 

Thanks again for allowing me this wonderful experience.   

Scott Simpson 
Miramichi Oncology Pharmacist