SGO Issues Feb. 19, 2015
Access to Genentech cancer drugs has changed
GR Committee obtains funding for DoD ovarian cancer research
CMS announces Oncology Care Model; Letters of Intent due April 23
Gynecologic Oncology featured articles for February 2015
CDC presents webinar on HPV vaccine recommendations
Make the Donor Wall
On Sept. 16, 2014, the distribution model for certain targeted cancer drugs made by Genentech including bevacizumab, trastuzumab, and rituximab changed. Previously, there were 80 authorized distributors for these drugs, including wholesalers, and now there are six specialty distributors. This change might have caused a disruption in distribution since the ordering workflow for these drugs with these distributors are different than drugs delivered by some of the other prior distributors.
Access to life-saving cancer drugs and limiting delays of access to these drugs are a top priority for SGO, its members, and their patients. SGO staff and volunteer leadership have discussed this change with Genentech. Genentech spokespersons stated that this model best serves patient safety and patient access by being able to more effectively manage supply and prevent disruption. Also, potential issues of counterfeit drugs would be better monitored through this system of distribution.
This change in distribution has limited some hospital-based pharmacies’ access to these drugs through standard wholesalers. For larger systems, this change in the distribution model might cost hospital systems hundreds of thousands of dollars. The UHC Pharmacy Council is lobbying for further action. The balance of potential counterfeit drugs, delays and drug shortages need to be weighed against the costs that might come with a specialty distributor system.
SGO remains committed to keeping appraised of activity in this area and assisting members and women who suffer from gynecologic malignancies to make sure they have access to these potentially life-saving drugs. SGO will continue to update membership of any new developments regarding this issue.
The SGO Government Relations Committee was successful in its efforts to secure $20 million in FY 2015 funding for the ovarian cancer research program at the Department of Defense (DoD). This accomplishment was the culmination of a year’s worth of work with Members of Congress and the various Congressional Appropriations Committees to request this funding level. SGO members with grant ideas may apply for this funding here.
The FY 2016 funding process is already underway with Congressional member requests for the House due on March 25. The SGO Government Relations Committee has to work every year to have Members of Congress submit formal requests for Congress to provide $20 million for the ovarian cancer research program at the DoD. The process will continue throughout the year and most likely will be decided in mid-December.
SGO needs to have Members of Congress demonstrate support of the program during the entire process. SGO members who are interested in helping the GR Committee with these efforts can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has announced a new alternative payment model for oncology (chemotherapy services). Participation in the Oncology Care Model (OCM) is voluntary and single-site and multi-site practices—both hospital and office-based—may apply. The non-binding Letters of Intent are due April 23; applications are due June 18. Both must be submitted electronically on CMS forms.
The goal of the OCM is to utilize appropriately aligned financial incentives to improve care coordination, appropriateness of care, and access to care for beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy. OCM encourages participating practices to improve care and lower costs through an episode-based payment model that provides financial incentives for high-quality, coordinated care.
OCM incorporates a two-part payment system for participating practices. The two forms of payment include a monthly per-beneficiary-per-month (PBPM) payment for the duration of the episode, which is for six months and triggered by the ordering of a chemotherapy drug and the potential for a performance-based payment for these six-month episodes of chemotherapy care.
The $160 PBPM enhanced care management payment will assist participating practices in effectively managing and coordinating care for oncology patients during episodes of care, while the potential for performance-based payment will provide practices with financial incentives to lower the total cost of care and improve care for beneficiaries during treatment episodes. The performance-based payments will be calculated and based on a practice’s historical costs for chemotherapy treatments, plus a discount.
To read the complete request for application and start the process of calculating your practice’s benchmarks to see if this is an option for you, click here.
- Primary cervical cancer screening with human papillomavirus: End of study results from the ATHENA study using HPV as the first-line screening test
- Use of primary high-risk human papillomavirus testing for cervical cancer screening: Interim clinical guidance
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Lauri Markowitz, MD, will present a webinar Friday, March 6, from noon to 1 p.m. ET to provide an update on HPV vaccine recommendations. Dr. Markowitz will review the HPV vaccine session scheduled for the Feb. 25-26 meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), when the ACIP is scheduled to vote on the use of the 9-valent HPV vaccine. Shannon Stokley, MPH, will also be available to answer questions regarding programmatic implications and Jill Roark, MPH, will be on hand to respond to communications-related questions. Click here to register for the March 6 webinar.
SGO’s Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer is fast approaching, and we want to ensure you are recognized for your commitment to the present and future of gynecologic oncology. Individuals who donate to SGO’s Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology by March 1 will be recognized for their contributions during the Annual Meeting, and will be acknowledged on the Donor Wall. Don’t miss your opportunity to make the Donor Wall. Visit the Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology’s web page to learn how you can show your support.