The Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association: Supporting Education and Research By Ellen Scharaga

Started in 2004, the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) is a nonprofit organization providing advocacy and education for hematology and oncology pharmacy practitioners. With over 2,000 members, the group includes oncology pharmacists, pharmacy interns and residents, nurses, researchers, technicians, and administrators.

Supplying its members with up-to-date and thorough information is one of HOPA’s primary functions. Through its online school, HOPA University, the association presents the latest findings from well-respected sources about cancer research and drug therapies. The school furnishes a central library of available courses, activities, and other resources, and provides a transcript of credits earned. At its annual conference, HOPA also offers six specialty continuing education sessions that pharmacists can use to fulfill their BCOP (Board Certified in Oncology Pharmacy) recertification requirements. Session participants take HOPA’s online test to receive six hours of credit. Further, HOPA collaborates with the Institute for Safe Medication Practices to produce newsletters on drug safety-related issues.

HOPA also dispenses monetary assistance for various investigatory endeavors through the HOPA Foundation. Launched in 2011, the Foundation awards grant funding through a peer-review system and seeks to optimize cancer care by supporting research and education in drug therapy, methodology training, and pharmacy practice standards.

About the author:

A registered pharmacist, Ellen Scharaga is Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Operations at OncoMed Pharmaceutical Services in Great Neck, New York.