Cost, Value of Cancer Drugs Take Center Stage in Current Issue of AJMC's Evidence-Based Oncology

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One of the biggest stories of 2015 has been the cost of cancer drugs, which create vexing questions for payers and policymakers, as well as doctors and families. The tough choices being made today are the theme of the latest special issue of Evidence-Based Oncology, a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care.


PLAINSBORO, N.J.—High prices for cancer drugs became a top news story in 2015, with leading oncologists signing petitions and going on TV to implore Congress to do something about soaring costs. As professional oncology societies take on questions about cost and value—something once unthinkable—Evidence-Based Oncology, a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care, has devoted its December issue to the topic.

Commentaries from leading payers, providers, and a patient advocate who has survived two bouts of cancer, are among the selections in this issue, led by an essay from Editor in Chief Joseph Alvarnas, MD, a specialist in bone marrow and stem cell transplantation and Director of Value-based Analytics at City of Hope.

The special issue features the commentary, “Is There a Mathematical Resolution to the Cost Versus Value Debate?” on the rise of “value calculators,” which help doctors and patients decide whether a given therapy is worth the price, by Bruce Feinberg, DO; Lincy S. Lal, PharmD, PhD; and J. Michael Swint, PhD.


Patient advocate Debra Madden shares her experiences battling with her insurance company in “Financial Toxicity: A New Term, But Not a New Reality for Many Cancer Patients.” Madden has previously contributed to Evidence-Based Oncology on cardiotoxicity of oncology therapy.

The need for both innovative strategies and pragmatic tools is the topic of “Managing Costs and Enhancing the Value of Cancer Care,” by Surya Singh, MD; Christine Sawicki, RPh, MBA; Ken Vander Pyl; and Alan Lotvin, MD.

In his opening essay, Dr. Alvarnas noted that the issue follows the recent conference, Patient-Centered Oncology Care, a meeting convened by The American Journal of Managed Care that also brought together stakeholders from across the healthcare spectrum to discuss issues of cost and value.

“What we ultimately seek is a cancer care delivery system that places patients’ risk-adapted care needs first, creates systems to ensure economically sustainable care delivery, and provides each stakeholder with the information necessary to bring such a system to life,” he writes.

About the Journals and

The American Journal of Managed Care celebrates its 20th year in 2015 as the leading peer-reviewed journal dedicated to issues in managed care. distributes healthcare news to leading stakeholders across a variety of platforms. Other titles in the franchise include The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, which provides pharmacy and formulary decision-makers with information to improve the efficiency and health outcomes in managing pharmaceutical care, and The American Journal of Accountable Care, which publishes research and commentary on innovative healthcare delivery models facilitated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. AJMC’s Evidence-Based series brings together stakeholder views from payers, providers, policymakers and pharmaceutical leaders in oncology and diabetes management. To order reprints of articles appearing in AJMC publications, please call (609) 716-7777, x 131.

CONTACT: Nicole Beagin (609) 716-7777 x 131