The increasing number and complexity of oral agents for cancer (OACs) have created a paradigm shift in the process and outcomes in oncology care. With 25%-30% of new oncology medications in development being oral agents, and a steady increase in approvals in the past 5-10 years, the issues are relevant in clinical practice. Additionally, oral chemotherapy is reported to be a vastly preferred method of chemotherapy administration, with as much as 90% of patients reportedly preferring oral administration to palliative chemotherapy.
The use of oral chemotherapeutic agents profoundly affects all aspects of oncology, including creating significant safety and adherence issues, shifting some traditional roles and responsibilities of oncologists, nurses, and
pharmacists to patients and caregivers. Oral anticancer agents, while potentially more convenient and better tolerated than traditional intravenous therapy, come with significant concerns of noncompliance, adverse effects, and high cost.
This presents an opportunity for health-care practitioners to develop a method to educate and support patients who are placed on these agents. Broadly, the oral cancer/oncology market is growing rapidly, reaching USD 133 billion in 2017, and is focused primarily on major developed markets, with with the US, EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK), and Japan accounting for 74% of spending in 2017, up from 72% in 2013.