​The Oncology Pharmacy at NCCS provides patients above 65 years of age a free service to ensure that their medication therapy is safe and effective. 

Elderly cancer patients receiving chemotherapy treatment who uses four or more medications tend to be more prone to medication-related problems as they may be seeing multiple doctors at different centres.  

With the MTM service, a pharmacist reviews and help manage the patient’s medication ranging from prescription medicine to over-the-counter medication, and even herbal or nutritional supplements.

“This also increases patients’ awareness of the need to be careful with their medications and supplements.” 

The service was started in 2009, offered by a pharmacist who identified elderly patients who might need help with their medication.   The pharmacist would approach such patients and with their consent, enrol them into the service.  

MTM is now integrated into the patient’s care journey. Elderly patients on chemotherapy are automatically identified by the appointment system, based on eligibility criteria as part of the pharmaceutical care offered at NCCS.  

The MTM pharmacist makes use of the waiting or chemotherapy infusion time to perform medication review, identify drug-related problem, educate and counsel patients.

MTM is now integrated into the patient’s care journey. 

An example is Mr Lim, an elderly lung cancer patient with diabetes and hypertension who goes to NCCS for his cancer treatment and the polyclinic for management of his chronic conditions. MTM helps him identify potential drug-related problems. 

Depending on the severity and urgency of the issue, the MTM pharmacist will either contact Mr Lim’s Medical Oncologist or provide a memo for Mr Lim’s polyclinic doctor.   Once the doctor agrees on the care plan proposed by MTM, the pharmacist will communicate the change to Mr Lim and follow up with him.

“By building good rapport with our patients, we encourage them to seek professional help when they detect any signs of possible adverse consequences from their therapy.   This also increases patients’ awareness of the need to be careful with their medications and supplements,” said Miss Yeoh Ting Ting, NCCS’ Principal Clinical Pharmacist. 

The MTM team uses a software that can be accessed using the NCCS intranet.   This software, jointly developed with IHiS, allows MTM pharmacists to document their encounters with patients, generate medication lists and reports, as well as collate workload and intervention statistics.  

The team’s efforts won them MOH’s Merit Award for Healthcare Quality Improvement in 2011 and the 2015 SingHealth Best Team Merit Award.