VBCC Perspectives

Who Exactly Would Benefit from Lower Cost of Cancer Drugs?

Daniel J. Klein

July 2015, Vol 6, No 6 - VBCC Perspectives

The high costs of specialty medications and the burden they place on individual patients and on the healthcare system overall are the media topics du jour. Cancer drugs are often cited as examples of unrestrained medication costs, so it is not surprising that the oncology community has responded by proposing alternative pricing models for cancer treatments based on the incremental value they provide. [ Read More ]

Value-Based Tools Should Complement Clinicians’ Perspectives to Inform Best Treatment Decisions for the Individual Patient

Amy Grogg, PharmD

July 2015, Vol 6, No 6 - VBCC Perspectives

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) value framework and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC)’s DrugAbacus are 2 recent examples of an increasing trend of value-­based modeling to assess pharmaceuticals. Of particular interest, these methodologies represent some of the first efforts to incorporate a systematic approach to value specific to oncology. Xcenda, an AmerisourceBergen company, has previously reported on the increasing shift to value-based care with the Department of Health & Human Services and select large US payers.1 Outside of the United States, single-payer systems in Europe have taken an even more aggressive approach to value-based models, going as far as to quantify the value of human life, and then to measure the use of a drug versus its ability to prolong life in a demonstrable way. [ Read More ]

Who Defines Value?

Art Wood

July 2015, Vol 6, No 6 - VBCC Perspectives

The relative value of cancer care has become the major debate in oncology over the past few years. The rising costs of treatment, along with increasing out-of-pocket costs for patients, have sparked a debate about what is “reasonable” treatment for all involved. As a nonprofit patient assistance foundation, Patient Services provides financial assistance to patients who have great challenges in accessing their treatments because of the high costs. Of note, most of those who receive assistance from our foundation are insured. [ Read More ]

Implications of the New Provider-Driven Value-Assessment Tools in Oncology

Larry Blandford, PharmD; Dan Renick, RPh

July 2015, Vol 6, No 6 - VBCC Perspectives

Given the number of oncology agents introduced over the past 5 years, and the corresponding rise in costs, it is little surprise that multiple organizations are reacting with methods to assess value. Although payers have historically been the default for assessing value to determine formulary coverage, the most recent entrants of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), with its value framework, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), with its DrugAbacus, into this arena represent providers of oncology care. Historically pegged as solely focused on clinical evidence and seeking effective therapy at all costs, the focus by providers on the value of cancer care is increasing. [ Read More ]

ASCO’s and MSKCC’s Efforts to Address the Cost of New Cancer Treatments

Dan McCrone, MD

July 2015, Vol 6, No 6 - VBCC Perspectives

In 2012 and 2013, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) published 2 sets of 5 key opportunities to improve value in cancer care as part of a multispecialty project, called Choosing Wisely. As a supervisor for a process that reviewed more than 15,000 hematology and oncology treatment requests in 2013, we were able to observe oncologists who followed ASCO’s advice, and those who were either unaware of Choosing Wisely or who chose to disregard it. Although the recommendations were not universally followed, they were a tremendous step forward in advancing value-based oncology treatments. [ Read More ]

The Rush to Value

William McGivney, PhD

July 2015, Vol 6, No 6 - VBCC Perspectives

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has introduced its conceptual framework to “Assess the Value of Cancer Treatment Options,” with the laudable objective to “assist physicians and patients in assessing the values of a new drug treatment.” As released, the ASCO framework has the potential to confound oncologists, in some instances, as follows. [ Read More ]