Evidence-Based Oncology | August 2016

Evidence-Based Oncology

Cost sharing for medications presents a serious access barrier for many blood cancer patients. Available solutions, if embraced by policymakers, could reduce such cost sharing with very little impact on premiums.
Reducing barriers to hematopoetic stem cell (HPC) transplant is critical to supporting patients with one of the more than 70 blood cancers and other blood disorders (such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myloplastic dysplasia) for which a transplant may be the only therapy remaining with curative intent.
This report shows that among people who are eligible for charitable assistance to cover out-of-pocket (OOP) prescription drug expenses, those with cancer have higher per-claim and per-person OOP costs than their counterparts with other health conditions.
Maximizing the utility of technology platforms and making them meaningful to ensure quality cancer care was the underlying theme of Emerging Issues and Opportunities in Health Information Technology, a National Comprehensive Cancer Network Policy Summit, held June 27, 2016, in Washington, DC.
This issue of Evidence-Based Oncology is dedicated to understanding the implications, scope, and opportunities within the realm of cost sharing in oncology.
Financial burden is a potential nonclinical adverse event in cancer patients. As patients, especially those in the lower income ranges and the middle class, struggle to meet their medical bills, the likelihood of them skipping doses or doctor’s visits is quite high.
When it comes to health coverage, most Americans face an unnerving reality—they have no idea what is covered under their health insurance policy until after they are affected by illness or disease.
Since 2005, American Cancer Society has sponsored the Health Insurance Assistance Service, a unique initiative to help cancer patients navigate the private coverage system and to educate policy makers about how coverage works for patients with this serious and chronic condition.
Precision oncology, or the clinically and financially efficient use of genomically matched treatments and clinical trials, is evolving as a potentially important starting point for cancer care within successful alternative payment models.
Young adult (YA) cancer survivors are hit the hardest in the wallet by their treatment. The average net worth of YAs who have received grants from The Samfund is a staggering –$35,000, while their counterparts in the general population is $68,000
A study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, found that patients who have access to the prices charged by a testing laboratory, as well as reference pricing, choose lower-cost laboratories, a move that results in overall cost savings.
A collaborative pilot that involves the California Department of Public Health, St. Joseph Health in Orange County, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland is studying whether near–real-time reporting of cancer diagnoses by pathologists, using standardized electronic forms, will permit providers to make more informed and timely treatment decisions.
The monoclonal antibody daratumumab (Darzalex) has been granted Breakthrough designation, the second for this drug, for use in combination with either lenalidomide (Revlimid) and dexamethasone or bortezomib (Velcade) and dexamethasone for patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least 1 prior therapy.
Loss-of-function mutations in Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) or Janus kinase 2 (JAK2), deletion of the wild-type allele of JAK1 or JAK2, and truncation in the antigen-presenting protein beta-2-microglobulin (B2M) gene have been found responsible for lack of response to interferon gamma in patients with melanoma.
Results from the CheckMate 066 study found that the checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab, which has proven highly efficient in the treatment of melanoma, also performs well in improving the patient’s long-term quality of survival benefit in patients with advanced melanoma.
At the Emerging Issues and Opportunities in Health Information Technology Policy Summit hosted by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, on June 27, 2016, an afternoon panel discussed the role of technology and its importance in promoting dissemination of data.
Adrenal gland tumors that are defined as being nonfunctional may not really be so, and the hormones that these tumors secrete could increase an individual’s risk of cardiometabolic irregularities, according to a new study.
Gregory C. Simon, executive director, White House Cancer Task Force, spoke at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Policy Summit in Washington, DC. “Just like the original moonshot, the Cancer Moonshot is about using technology and the resulting information,” he said.

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