Onyx Pharmaceuticals 360™: A Support Program for Patients with Multiple Myeloma and Their Caregivers

Vicki Kennedy, LCSW; Joanne Buzaglo, PhD; Jennifer Sharretts, MBA Cancer Support Community, Washington, DC; Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc, South San Francisco, CA

March 2013, Vol 4, No 3 - AVBCC 2013 3rd Annual Conference Abstracts


Background: In 2007, the Institute of Medicine’s Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs outlined a framework to integrate psychosocial health services into routine care for patients with cancer. Building off this report, the Onyx Pharmaceuticals 360™ (Onyx 360) program was developed and subsequently introduced in 2012 following the approval of carfilzomib in the United States for the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma with the goal of delivering an innovative program to integrate biopsychosocial care and serve as a model for industry-sponsored patient access programs. Herein we describe the key features of this program with emphasis on the integration of patient navigation and supportive resources.

Objective: To describe the key features of Onyx 360, an industry sponsored patient access program that emphasizes patient-centered navigation to personalized support services.

Methods: Onyx Pharmaceuticals convened focus groups with patients, caregivers, oncology nurses, oncology social workers, and practice managers, the results of which informed the design and development of the program. To assess the impact of Onyx 360, participants were asked to complete a satisfaction survey.

Results: Onyx 360 was established for patients and caregivers to receive reimbursement and financial support and to navigate other concerns that could impact patients’ capacity to receive treatment and maintain quality of life. Oncology nurse advocates act as the primary source of contact and collaborate with healthcare professionals, payers, and community organizations on patients’ behalf. Unique features of the program include transportation assistance, clinical support, and real-time referrals to key resources including the Chronic Disease Fund, the International Myeloma Foundation, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and the Cancer Support Community (CSC). Consenting patients and caregivers are transferred to CSC whose licensed mental health professionals conduct distress screening and offer patients and caregivers free supportive counseling, resource referral, group support, and treatment decision counseling. Early results from a survey demonstrate that patients, caregivers, and providers (N=241) are “highly satisfied” (89%) and value the integrated approach to meeting patients’ medical, emotional, and everyday needs.

Conclusions: The Onyx 360 program is unique from standard reimbursement support programs in that it partners with a patient’s healthcare team to expand upon, and provide efficient access to, a support network. By assisting patients with everyday challenges, this program is establishing a seamless delivery of care between patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and community organizations to ease the burden of the treatment journey. Preliminary results from an initial participant survey are encouraging.