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ASCO Joins CER Discussion and Express Scripts Aims to Take on the Cancer Drug Market in 2016


IP Blog | Dave Melin | January 25, 2015

BioBlog Weekly oncologyThis week in healthcare, ASCO joins the comparative effectiveness research discussion with payers and Express Scripts announces their intentions to begin influencing the cancer drug market in 2016.

Payers Look to CER for Improved Healthcare Decisions

In a climate of increasing focus on cost, a group of payers sat down at AJMC’s Oncology Stakeholder Summit to discuss comparative effectiveness research (CER) and its role in making better-informed healthcare decisions.

The People Who Brought You Cheaper Hepatitis C Drugs Are Going After Cancer Next

Over the last weeks Express Scripts has made headlines for its bold moves to influence the cost of Hepatitis C drugs. Now, the company has set their sights on the cost of cancer drugs: “We want to be able to start influencing the market by 2016. We are accumulating all the keys to the puzzle to be able to do this.”

Implementing Health Reform: FAQs on Taxes and the ACA (January 22 Update)

HealthAffairs follows the ongoing updates released by the IRS regarding penalties for families who fail to obtain health insurance and procedures for a small tax credit for small employers in some US counties where ACA coverage is not available through SHOP.

The Integration of Early Palliative Care With Oncology Care: The Time Has Come for a New Tradition

A recent article published in JNCCN suggested that introducing palliative care earlier in the oncology care process may improve outcomes for patients: “Through integrating palliative care (PC) early into the disease course for patients with a poor-prognosis cancer, 3 seminal studies showed improvements in outcomes, ranging from quality of life, mood, patient satisfaction, prognostic understanding, health service use, and possibly survival.”

State of the Union Calls for More Investments in Personalized Medicine

In the State of the Union address this week, President Obama announced the Precision Medicine Initiative (also known as personalized medicine). While the President did not elaborate on the details of this initiative, his remarks indicated the program would aim to hone US medical care: “I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine: one that delivers the right treatment at the right time. I’m launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.”

Digital Sales Tools are Influencing More Docs to Consider Prescriptions?

A new analysis examines the influence of digital marketing efforts on physician prescribing: in the US, “24% of sales pitches were made using a digital tool, and 32% of those were likely to convince a doctor to write a prescription. Looked at another way, 76% of the sales pitches were made by sales reps, while only 43% of those were likely to result in a prescription. Both approaches may persuade doctors to write a prescription, but digital tools are having a proportionately greater impact.”

At Davos, talk of the future of cancer care

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, an interview of oncology experts explores the effects of personalized medicine, genomics, and immunotherapies on cancer treatment. The verdict: “With the knowledge of today, and science, the prospects are limitless.”

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