Quarterly scientific journal

Pharmacist's role in cancer pain management: A scoping review

Evangelos Aliferis , Tina Garani-Papadatou



Introduction: Cancer remains a leading cause of death, with 10 million deaths recorded in 2020. Ineffective cancer pain management is a significant problem associated with the disease.

Objective: To investigate the role of the pharmacist in cancer pain management.

Method: Literature search: pharmacist, pain relief, palliative care, pain management, human rights, public health, cancer, advanced and terminal stage, new technologies, off-label. As a time, frame twenty years was set as a sufficient period. The search language was determined to be English and from world-renowned search engines for scientific topics and articles (Pubmed, Medline), world-renowned organizations (such as WHO and IASP).

Results: Most articles focus on the interdisciplinary role of pharmacists in palliative care. A smaller number of articles refer to policy and education issues, off-label drug issues, and personalized treatment issues. 

Conclusions: Pharmaceutical science and the pharmacist have a leading role in the effort to manage cancer pain better and to provide better quality palliative care. To fulfill this, policies must be developed in which the pharmacist would be an integral member of the interdisciplinary team.

Keywords: pain management, human rights, pharmacis, cancer pain, palliative care, public health

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