It has been estimated that oncologists would need 29 hours a day to keep up with the research and findings of new cancer treatments that enter the market each day.[1] This innovation-driven climate puts health plans in the difficult position of needing scalable, internal oncology-specific expertise, and processes that can quickly evaluate treatment options across a multitude of cancer diagnoses. Typically, a health plan’s pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) might provide guidance on cancer drugs related to the Pharmacy Benefit, but a proportionately larger share of the health plans’ costs come from the Medical Benefit.

In 2018 alone, 15 new cancer drugs and 55 new indications for existing cancer drugs were approved by the FDA, compared to just seven in 2007. Drug and treatment innovations across cancer types, such as immunotherapy and precision medicine, hold great promise for the future evolution of cancer treatment and care. However, innovation can also be disruptive, as the growing number of treatment options, combinations, and additional lines of therapy simultaneously increase the complexity in making an evidence-based determination for how to treat a patient’s cancer.

Without investing in a team of board-certified oncologists, pharmacists, and researchers, how can health plans Keep Current?

Keep Current with Oncology Analytics
Oncology Analytics’ board-certified oncologists, radiation oncologists, hematologists, and pharmacists focus daily on evaluating and identifying new trends and researching appropriate therapy combinations. We are experts in oncology medical and pharmacy benefits as it relates to cancer drugs. In addition, our data science teams utilize advanced data models and machine learning to better understand outcomes in all areas of cancer treatment to ensure that your members receive the right treatment at the right time and the right cost.

We believe that to keep current requires both oncology expertise and advanced data science. This approach facilitates our ability to provide treatment recommendations that reflect the most current evidence-based findings, even when there is a delay between when research is presented and its inclusion in The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN).

For example, in June 2016, the results of the KEYNOTE-028 clinical trial were presented at the Annual Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO), which evaluated the use of pembrolizumab in ovarian cancer and showed anti-tumor activity. Updated results with over 15 months of follow-up were published May 30, 2017, which demonstrated durable tumor response and low toxicity. However, its inclusion to NCCN compendia was not made until February 5, 2018, nearly eight months later.

Oncology Analytics can provide your health plan with real-time oncology expertise as an extension of your internal teams, for a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself. Our comprehensive approach addresses the in-house resource constraints most health plans face with keeping current, such as:

Frequent Communication and Review with Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies
The Oncology Analytics team meets regularly with these companies to discuss clinical trial results, study designs, and pipeline presentations. Having these relationships enables Oncology Analytics to get a jump start on creating drug policies for preferred therapies.

Engagement with Prestigious Oncology Organizations
We participate and learn from the most important cancer meetings in the world, understanding that treatment guidelines can change the minute those meetings release groundbreaking research. Examples include ASCO, ASH, ASTRO, AACR, and The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

FDA Monitoring
Oncology Analytics continually investigates which new agents or indications are actively under review by the FDA by identifying those that have breakthrough status, are under priority review or have a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) date. Our goal is to understand, ahead of time, what new therapy is about to come out and where it will fit in the market so we can evaluate the therapy and develop a clinical position.

Subscription and Review
We subscribe to NCCN Flash Updates to receive immediate notification when NCCN changes its guidelines or compendium as well as influential journals that publish new cancer research including The Journal of Clinical Oncology, The Lancet Oncology, The New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA Oncology.

Oncology Analytics understands the complexity involved in the management of cancer treatment options caused by the rapid pace of research and new drug introductions that are changing the oncology landscape on a daily basis. We are committed to the ongoing review and analysis of oncology treatments, their outcomes, and adverse effects to ensure that all cancer treatment recommendations provide the patient with the opportunity to achieve the best possible outcome.

If you would like to contact one of our oncology specialists to discuss strategies to help your organization Keep Current on new and emerging cancer treatments, please click here.

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[1] Alessandra Curioni-Fontecedro, A new era of oncology through artificial intelligence, ESMO Open 2017, May 15, 2017, https://esmoopen.bmj.com/content/2/2/e000198

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