Defining "Value" in Oncology: Experts Weigh in on Frameworks

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Rising costs in cancer care have fueled a national conversation on how to decide whether today’s new therapies are “worth it.” A supplement of Evidence-Based Oncology features interviews with those developing value frameworks and coverage of the Oncology Stakeholders Summit, which included patient advocacy, payers and pharmaceutical manufacturers.


PLAINSBORO, N.J.—The quest to define “value” in cancer care, beyond a simple calculation of outcome and cost, has taken center stage at leading professional meetings and in the public arena. Not long ago, the cost of therapy was off-limits in talks between doctor and patient, but today’s question is: what tools can we bring to the discussion?

A new supplement to Evidence-Based Oncology (EBO), a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care, features leaders in the movement to create value frameworks in cancer care, along with coverage from the recent Oncology Stakeholders Summit, a program of the AJMC Peer Exchange series.

Edited by EBO Managing Editor Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD, the issue includes her interviews with:

· Peter Bach, MD, MAPP, director, Center for Health and Policy Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, who is the force behind the DrugAbacus.


· Richard Schilsky, MD, FACP, FASCO, chief medical officer for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), who discussed the ASCO Value Framework.

· Steven D. Pearson, MD, MSc, FRCP, founder and president of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), whose evidence reports are aimed mostly at payers.

The supplement also includes an essay by the University of Chicago’s Rena M. Conti, PhD, “Value in Cancer Care: An Economist’s Perspective,” which examines the effect of alternate payment models on care delivery. For the full supplement, click here.

Coverage of the AJMC Peer Exchange, “Oncology Stakeholders Summit: Considerations for Designing ‘Value Calculators’ for Oncology Therapies,” summarizes the session moderated by Bruce Feinberg, DO, vice president and chief medical officer of Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, which can be found online here. Besides the value frameworks from ASCO and ICER and the DrugAbacus, the coverage also addresses “evidence blocks” introduced by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Participants were:

· Alan Balch, PhD, chief executive officer, Patient Advocate Foundation

· James C. Gilroy, senior director for Market Access, Eli Lilly & Co.

· Ira Klein, MD, MBA, FACP, senior director, Quality, Strategic Consumer Group, Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

· Michael A. Kolodziej, MD, national medical director, Oncology Solutions, Aetna.

· Ted Okon, MBA, executive director, Community Oncology Alliance.

About the Journals and

The American Journal of Managed Care is 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 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.