VBCC Perspectives

The NCCN New Tool to Assess Value Discourages Patients’ Hope

Robert Goldberg, PhD

November 2015, Vol 6, No 10 - VBCC Perspectives

In October, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) released its first set of “flash cards” or “Evidence Blocks” as a tool for evaluating treatment decisions, seeking to solve a drug cost problem that does not exist, by adding to a problem that does: insurers shifting the cost of cancer treatment to patients. In so doing, the NCCN could inadvertently increase the rate at which patients with cancer choose assisted suicide. [ Read More ]

Addressing the Value of New Cancer Treatment Options Using the ASCO Model

Philip E. Johnson, MS, RPh, FASHP

August 2015, Vol 6, No 7 - VBCC Perspectives

How can cancer care decisions be based on value? Two champions are starting to add science to this controversial discussion, which will eventually help all stakeholders make more informed decisions. Peter B. Bach, MD, MAPP, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has published several articles regarding the high cost of new drugs, claiming that the manufacturers have total price control, which has led to irrational pricing behaviors. Dr Bach promotes a more rational, “value-based” approach, where the outcome determines the price. [ Read More ]

ASCO’s Net Health Benefit: A Palliative Care Regimen Scores Higher than Active Treatment

Pamela Pelizzari, MPH; Bruce Pyenson, FSA, MAAA

August 2015, Vol 6, No 7 - VBCC Perspectives

Medicare’s Oncology Care Model (OCM) proposes a partial shift in financial risk from Medicare to oncologists. This incentivizes oncologists to use higher-­value, lower-cost services. Information such as the recently released American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) framework to assess new cancer treatment options will likely garner keen interest among providers participating in the OCM or similar programs, to the benefit of providers, payers, and patients. [ Read More ]

Emerging Tools for Assessing Value: Pros and Cons

Kirby J. Eng, RPh

August 2015, Vol 6, No 7 - VBCC Perspectives

The emergence of various tools for assessing value or, more to the point, drug costs—both direct and indirect—by leaders within the oncology and hematology community is highly commendable. Those of us on the managed care side of healthcare look forward to practical and meaningful tools in helping patients, pro­viders, employers, and health plans navigate through the complexity of oncology drug therapy and drive better informed decision-making. [ Read More ]