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New Montefiore Program Helps Patients Avoid Potentially Life-Threatening Medication Errors
Date:5/18/2010

Medication Therapy Management Believed to be NY-Area's First Hospital-Based Program to Help Cancer Patients Reduce 'Polypharmacy' Mistakes

BRONX, N.Y., May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new program at the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECCC) is helping to reduce the negative consequences of "polypharmacy," the use of multiple dissimilar drugs, frequently prescribed by different doctors, by a patient who may have more than one serious health problem.

Developed by the Department of Medical Oncology at Montefiore, the Medication Therapy Management program helps patients with cancer safely take their oral chemotherapy as well as prescription medications they need for other serious conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. The program was developed by Una Hopkins, BSN, MSN, FNP-BC, nurse practitioner, and Pragna Patel, PharmD, R.Ph, Oncology Investigational Pharmacy Manager, both in medical oncology, to help patients avoid what could be life-threatening errors in taking, using and storing their medications. It is believed to be the first hospital-based program of its kind in the New York-metropolitan area.

"Many of our patients were already living with other health issues when they were diagnosed with cancer, so their daily treatment regimens have become much more complicated," Hopkins said. "Our program is a partnership that involves the patient, the practitioner and the pharmacist, who together review the patient's medical history and devise a personalized plan that supports the safe and effective use of all their medications."

"The use of oral anticancer drugs has grown tremendously and is expected to become the main form of cancer therapy i
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SOURCE Montefiore Medical Center
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