Value-Based Cancer Care Issues

August 2015, Vol 6, No 7

By Looking Back, We Learn to Look Forward

Burt Zweigenhaft, BS

From the Editor

My personal journey to understanding and experiencing up close and personal the complexities in cancer care started some 20 years ago, when, like many of us, someone extremely close to you gets the dreaded news, “you have cancer.” For me, this was my mom. Regretfully, as we grow older, we all continue to hear this dreadful tale more frequently. These events have transformed my career over time to turn it into a mission—improving cancer care and seeking the cure. [ Read More ]

Oncology News – August 2015

Oncology News

  • Top US Oncologists Issue a Call to Lower Costs of Cancer Drugs, Assess Value
  • Inovio Launches Immunotherapy Trial in Prostate Cancer
  • European Regulatory Agency Grants Accelerated Review for 2 Multiple Myeloma Drugs
  • Partnership between Genomics and Big Data Companies Promotes Next-Generation Sequencing Innovation
[ Read More ]

Emerging Tools for Assessing Value: Pros and Cons

Kirby J. Eng, RPh

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 ]

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

Pamela Pelizzari, MPH; Bruce Pyenson, FSA, MAAA

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 ]

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

Philip E. Johnson, MS, RPh, FASHP

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 ]

Assessing the Cost-Effectiveness of Necitumumab in Squamous-Cell Lung Cancer

Dana Taylor

Economics of Cancer Care

Chicago, IL—An economic analysis presented by Daniel Goldstein, MD, of Emory University, Atlanta, GA, at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, was conducted to see at what price will necitum­umab (which is currently being reviewed by the FDA for use in metastatic squamous-cell lung cancer) be cost-­effective. According to this analysis, necitumumab will have to be priced at less than $1300 per cycle to be cost-­effective based on the accepted willing­ness-to-­pay threshold of $150,000. [ Read More ]

Value-Based Strategies for Patients with Multiple Myeloma

Multiple Myeloma

At the Fifth Annual Conference of the Association for Value-­Based Cancer Care in Washington, DC, Grant Lawless, RPh, MD, FACP, of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, moderated a multidisciplinary panel on value-based care for patients with multiple myeloma. The panel included Gary Palmer, MD, JD, MBA, MPH, medical director of NantHealth, who highlighted the growing role of genomics testing in multiple myeloma, and Carol Ann Huff, MD, of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baltimore, who discussed therapies in development for multiple myeloma, including novel monoclonal antibodies. The panelists outlined trends that are likely to affect costs and care patterns in multiple myeloma, including increasing use of triplet-drug regimens, maintenance therapy, and antibody-based therapies in development. [ Read More ]

GADOLIN Trial: Obinutuzumab an Effective Treatment for Indolent Lymphoma

Phoebe Starr

Emerging Therapies

Chicago, IL—The results of the phase 3 GADOLIN trial provide the first proof of efficacy for obinutuzumab (Gazyva) in patients with indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Obinutuzumab added to standard bendamustine (Treanda) chemotherapy almost doubled progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with rituximab (Rituximab)-refractory indolent lymphoma—the median PFS was 29.2 months with obinutuzumab plus bendamustine versus 14 months with bendamustine alone. [ Read More ]

Combination of PARP and PI3K Inhibitors Share a Genomic Landscape in Breast and Ovarian Cancers

Phoebe Starr

Personalized Medicine

Philadelphia, PA—Now that a number of targeted therapies are available for the treatment of cancer, one of the big questions is how to best combine them, especially for patients with few other good treatment options. A preliminary study showed that combining the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza) with the investigational phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor BKM120 achieved responses in 2 aggressive cancer types that share a genomic landscape—high-grade serous ovarian cancer and triple-negative breast cancer. [ Read More ]

High-Value Narrow Networks and Patient Safety Organizations the Future of Cancer Care

Wayne Kuznar

AVBCC 2015 5th Annual Conference

Washington, DC—Emerging trends in oncology care management include economic transparency, high-value narrow networks (now also referred to as “power networks”), patient–provider profile matching, and an evolving role for risk management. Narrow networks have been shown to lower overall costs and premiums, reduce care variation, and increase patient outcomes and satisfaction, said Grant D. Lawless, RPh, MD, Associate Professor, Clinical Pharmacy and Economics, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, at the Fifth Annual Con­ference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care. [ Read More ]

Ibrance (Palbociclib): First CDK4 and CDK6 Inhibitor FDA Approved for the Treatment of Postmenopausal Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Lisa A. Raedler, PhD, RPh

Drug Updates

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancer diagnoses in the United States. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 231,840 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and nearly 40,300 women will die from the disease in 2015. Overall, 61% of women with breast cancer are diagnosed while the disease is confined to the breast; for these women, the 5-year survival rate is 98.6%. However, for women with metastatic breast cancer, the 5-year survival rate falls sharply, to 26%. [ Read More ]