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Practical Information for the Community-Based Oncologist

OBTN, June 2008, Volume 2, Issue 6

This issue's cover story focuses on the 100th annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research held April 12-16 in San Diego,providing a general overview of breaking new and session highlights.

The American Association for Cancer Research Holds its 100th Annual Meeting

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s oldest and largest oncology-related scientific organization, and this April they held their 100th annual meeting in San Diego. More than 15,000 oncology professionals attended the meeting, including practicing oncologists, oncology fellows, scientists, researchers, academicians, key opinion leaders and other cancer care professionals as well as patient group, physician group, employer group, and government agency representatives representing over 60 countries from around the globe. Our cover story this month highlights the meeting and provides an overview of breaking news and session highlights from the conference, providing practical information for the community-based oncologist.

In this month’s Reimbursement and Managed Care department, we cover a number of topics that oncologists will find particularly relevant, including a story from the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (which took place in San Francisco). According to a managed care and oncologist survey, health care payers are increasingly adopting average sales price (ASP) methodology to reimburse for the provision of oncologic drugs, and most of those physician practices responding to the survey reported lower total revenues. The survey also found that oncologists worry that the increasing use of prior authorization and greater cost-sharing requirements on the part of patients will lead many patients to forego certain treatments. They also fear continued erosion of practice autonomy related to managed care requirements. According to the survey, payers are more focused on the cost-control aspects in oncology care than on clinical practice decision making.

In our next issue, we highlight this year’s annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting, which took place in Chicago. We plan for our ASCO coverage to be quite extensive. If you have any ideas on the types of information you’d like to see us report from this meeting, please reach out and send me your comments. We look forward to hearing from you.