“The 340B pricing program will continue to be modified to improve oversight and compliance, but it is here to stay,” according to Ron Schleif, MBA, BSPharm, cofounder and president of Oncology Reimbursement Management, a consulting firm.

At least 1 treatment-related complication is reported by more than 60% of breast cancer survivors as late as 6 years after their diagnosis, according to a new study published in a special issue of Cancer. Devoted to exploring, preventing, and monitoring the physical late effects of breast cancer treatment, the special issue focuses on the nation’s 2.6 million survivors of the disease.

It is one of the most contentious issues in U.S. politics today: the federal health-care law’s requirement that everybody have health insurance or pay a penalty.

Supporters of the mandate—which is the central issue in the case before the Supreme Court challenging the law—argue that it’s the key to making health care more affordable and accessible to everyone. By expanding the pool of insured, the thinking goes, the burden of paying for the sick is covered by all.

The development of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with cancer has a significant impact in terms of morbidity and mortality and healthcare costs, according to a “real-world analysis” reported at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress.

For antiemetic prophylaxis, a model of shared cost-savings using incentives such as cash rebates might reduce the high cost of some pharmaceuticals while maintaining patient access to optimal care, according to oncologists from Michigan.

CHICAGO—Targeted drugs are very effective in patients with a well-specified molecular target. Examples include imatinib in patients with chronic myelog enous leukemia and trastuzumab in HER2-positive breast cancer. Evidence, however, has shown only modest improvements in outcomes when targeted agents are given to “unselected patients,” that is, those lacking a tumor characteristic (or mutation) that is specifically addressed by a given drug.

CHICAGO—Screening all patients for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) before initiating chemotherapy for lymphoma is associated with improved clinical outcomes and is economically favorable, according to an analysis presented by researchers at the University of Toronto and St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Oncology pharmacists have a new tool for helping them better treat their patients. The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) has released a new publication, “The Practical Cancer Pharmacy,” designed to help hospital cancer pharmacy and financial teams move past the short-term orientation of considering only cost when deciding which drugs to purchase.

ORLANDO—Novel dosing regimens of rasburicase can prevent tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) at costs that are much lower than conventional dosing, according to studies presented at the 2010 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition.

CHICAGO—At the ASCO session “Moving the Bar in Upper GI Malignancies,” 2 speakers examined whether recent trials of targeted agents are clinically meaningful or just statistically positive, and whether value is being gained for the enormous amount of money being spent in treating noncolo rectal gastrointestinal (GI) cancer.

Eileen Mary O’Reilly, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, weighed in by examining the bottom line of the major trials.

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