Newswise — Chicago, IL: In a letter to CVS/Caremark President and CEO Larry Merlo, the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) applauds CVS/Caremark’s decision to put public health above profits. Smoking kills almost half a million adults in the United States every year. “HOPA members are on the front lines treating people living with cancer. As an integral part of the cancer care team, we see first-hand the devastating impact that cancer has on patients and their families,” stated Niesha Griffith, RPh MS FASHP, HOPA President.“Tobacco-related deaths are preventable and CVS/Caremark’s bold decision is an important step in the right direction. Many cancers are not preventable, and more research is needed in the ongoing global fight against this terrible disease. However, as health care professionals, we are encouraged to see CVS/Caremark at the leading edge of the public sector in taking a stand against the leading cause of the deadliest form of cancer.”
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. and over 80 percent of lung cancers are caused by smoking. Smoking causes numerous other types of cancer, including oral cancer, and leads to many chronic diseases. The effect of second-hand smoke on children and family members is dangerous. “We hope that CVS/Caremark’s decision will encourage other companies to follow suit. Together, we can take steps toward a healthier, cancer-free America,” Griffith said.
Hematology/oncology pharmacists work with a team of providers to optimize the delivery of care for individuals living with cancer by ensuring patients have the most appropriate and effective therapy, monitoring the effects of prescribed medications, and managing the adverse effects that often accompany cancer treatment. Their job is to provide support for the clinical team in an effort to improve overall cancer care and patient quality of life.
Founded in 2004, HOPA is a nonprofit professional organization helping hematology and oncology pharmacy practitioners and their associates provide the best possible cancer care. HOPA supports research, conducts educational conferences to advance knowledge, encourages professional development and advocates for health policy issues that improve patient care. HOPA’s membership includes pharmacists, pharmacy interns, residents, nurses, technicians, researchers, and administrators specializing in hematology/oncology practice. HOPA has more than 2,000 members working in hundreds of hospitals, clinics, physician offices, community pharmacies, home health practices, and other healthcare settings.