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Skip to 0 minutes and 14 seconds Now, I want to mention briefly about the roles and opportunities for the pharmacists. Pharmacists are always service consultant to the physician and in this particular guard for biologics, that’s even more important. Because many biologics do require genotyping before the biologics is dispensed to the patients. Pharmacists are also serve as an adviser to the patients. For example, self injection versus office. Which one is better? Or worked for the patient. if self-injection, then how to use the previous syringe? That’s the advice that we pharmacists can give to the patient. Or if the injection or SQ injection is going to last for a while, then how to rotate the injection site.

Skip to 1 minute and 18 seconds And there’ll be biosimilars on the the market, again, and in the distant future, and if we pharmacists will be asked to evaluate the biosimilars and to recommend that the acquisition or the use of biosimilar biologics.

Skip to 1 minute and 42 seconds With that opportunity, of course, pharmacists do have challenges. They need to update their dispenser skill. For example, the reconstitution technique, they shake well before use for small molecules. No longer applied to the biologics. And we need updated therapeutic knowledge about the efficacy, about a side-effect, and again about genotyping. And who knows someday we will be dispensing biologics at the community pharmacy. Storage and handling with refrigeration between two to eight degree but do not freeze, because freezing is going to denature the protein. Stored in its original carton and to protect it from light. Do not return the product to the refrigerator once it exposed to the room temperature which is different from small molecules.

Skip to 2 minutes and 52 seconds Do not recap the needle or the auto-injector. Dispensing biologics. Inspect particle matter or precipitation or coloration which is the same for small molecules as well. Reconstitution in sterile water or nine percent saline or five percent dextrose for injection. Lyophilized powders and diluent must be brought to room temperature room temperature before reconstitution. And when you reconstitute the dialyzed powder into solution, the Diluent should be added down the side of the vial, and generally swore the vial to dissolve. And absolutely no shaking in order to prevent forming and to prevent denaturation of the protein. And usually the biologics should be used within hours to be effective. And do not dilute prefilled syringe. Typically do not co-administer with the other drug.

Skip to 4 minutes and 16 seconds When I say co-administer, I mean during the infusion. Of course, biologics or co-minister with other medications but typically, it is not suggested to infuse other drugs along with the biologics. And I just want to mention the medical or the healthcare professionals always work as a team. And team is together, everyone achieves more. So I hope that pharmacists will be a significant number always for that team and make our contributions known to the healthcare professionals and the healthcare community.

Role, Challenge and Opportunity

As a consultant to the physician, an advocate for the patient and an advisor to the health policy authority, pharmacists should be aware of the available biologic products and reassure patients regarding the rigorous approval process that ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of the biologics. As uptake of biosimilars increases, doctors, nurses and pharmacists need to require a more in-depth understanding of the regulatory guidance under different regulatory agents or health authorities. This will enable them to engage with patients, the prescriber, the hospital administrator and third-party payer on the selection and cost-effective use of biologics.

Pharmacists continue to play critical roles in the clinical of biologics, as a consultant to the physician, an advocate for the patient and an advisor to the health policy authority. In such capacity, pharmacists must be equipped with updated dispensing skills, relevant therapeutic knowledge and up to date clinical experience. Practicing pharmacists should be well-positioned and prepared within the integrated healthcare system to accept the role, challenge and opportunity in the rapidly expanding biologics era.

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This video is from the free online course:

Pharmacotherapy: Understanding Biotechnology Products

Taipei Medical University