From The Editors January 2021

TOP - January 2021 Vol 14, No 1 - From the Editors
Patrick J. Medina, PharmD, BCOP
Steven Stricker, PharmD, MS, BCOP

The January issue of The Oncology Pharmacist (TOP) contains important news and updates for today’s oncology pharmacist, including highlights from recent national and international virtual conferences, exploring best practices in value-based performance in cancer care, strategies for providing high-quality and affordable care to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing efforts to address social determinants of health and their effect on the delivery of healthcare, and the latest data on the safety and efficacy of novel agents and combination regimens for the treatment of patients with hematologic malignancies and solid tumors.

In an informative session during the 10th Annual Summit of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care, experts discussed the growth of the oncology pipeline in 2020 and the ongoing challenges that payers, policymakers, and patients face regarding the high cost of newer therapies (see here).

“Over the past 10 years, there has been a massive increase in out-of-pocket expenditures for patients. In just the last 7 years, that out-of-pocket spending has increased by 60%,” noted William Roth, Founding Partner, Blue Fin Group, during the webinar.

Investigators who spoke during the National Comprehensive Cancer Network 2020 Virtual Congress: Hematologic Malignancies provided important updates on therapies being used to treat hematologic malignancies. Of particular importance was a presentation by Shaji Kumar, MD, Consultant and Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Rochester, MN, who provided an overview of the current therapeutic landscape for patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma (see here).

“Treatment of myeloma requires a long-term strategy. The key is delivering the best ‘package’ of treatment at a given stage. Optimal combinations and sequencing are critical, and a risk-stratified approach should be used,” Dr Kumar explained.

This issue of TOP also includes highlights from key presentations made during the 2020 ASCO Quality Care Symposium, including a session that explored the impact of social determinants of health on cancer care and patient outcomes and possible solutions that can lead to true healthcare equity (see here).

“We’re working to create a community social health network that is able to connect members with unmet needs to appropriate resources through a community partner network to achieve their highest level of health,” said Matthew P. Barnegas, PhD, MPH, MS, during the session.

We also provide you with clinical trial data on novel agents and combinations currently being evaluated for the treatment of various malignancies—including lung cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, and head and neck cancer—as well as the latest updates on drugs that have received FDA approval.

As always, we hope you will enjoy this issue of TOP, and we invite you to visit www.TheOncologyPharmacist.com to share your feedback about this issue with us or send comments to info@TheOncologyPharmacist.com.

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Last modified: April 8, 2021