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Dr Howard Burris on Efforts Needed to Ensure Access to NGS Testing

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Howard A. "Skip" Burris, III, MD, FACP, FASCO, president, clinical operations, and chief medical officer of Sarah Cannon Research Institute, discusses what's needed from a policy perspective to ensure access to next-generation sequencing (NGS) tests.

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Howard A. "Skip" Burris, III, MD, FACP, FASCO, president, clinical operations, and chief medical officer of Sarah Cannon Research Institute, discusses what's needed from a policy perspective to ensure access to next-generation sequencing tests.

Transcript

As next-generation testing becomes more important with a growing amount of approved targeted therapies, what is needed from a policy perspective to ensure access to these tests?

Access to these tests and getting the various stakeholders together. if I were a payer at an insurance company, my question wouldn’t be whether I approve the testing or not, it would really be how could you be prescribing this new therapy, this relatively expensive therapy, without having a molecular profile on the patient. I think much like we’ve had legislation with regard to access to clinical trials, this sort of national education that cancer patients should be access agnostic to being able to getting a test performed, would be key.

A good first step has been the FDA approving some of these tests and then Medicare providing reimbursement. So, I feel optimistic that were moving in a direction where we’re going to begin to get policy makers across the country, the physicians across the country, to understand this is a critical piece of information cancer patients should know.


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