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Hospitals will use cancer-drug cost-benefit analyzer


In what could revolutionize the use and cost of cancer treatments, the most influential source for U.S. oncology-treatment guidelines will  offer a tool to analyze the  costs vs. the benefits of drug therapies. This should please insurers and  most providers, if not Big Pharm and the physicians who benefit from direct and indirect payments from drug companies seeking to get doctors to prescribe expensive drugs,

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network  tool will eventually go into healthcare-technology systems used by hospitals, including products from IBM Watson and McKesson.

”Reuters notes that “{d}octors developing the measures expect them to shift demand away from less effective treatments, influencing the prices drugmakers are able to charge. They say they are responding to the needs of patients who are having to pay much more for their own care, with higher health insurance premiums, co-payments and deductibles, and want to know the value of their treatments.”

“The NCCN, an alliance of 26 cancer centers, envisions the new tool as a supplement to its widely followed guidelines for oncology care, which set out protocols for treating a range of cancers based on diagnosis, disease stage and other factors, such as age.”

Reuters says: “The NCCN scale, to be launched in a few weeks, will use ‘evidence blocks’ to assign a score of up to five points for each of five measures — price, effectiveness, safety, quality and consistency of clinical data. Initially, it will evaluate drugs used for multiple myeloma and chronic myeloid leukemia. Similar guidelines are expected for most other types of cancer by the end of 2016.”






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