Best Practices

Although the role of biosimilars in the treatment of patients with cancer has been under review by payers and providers for several years, there remains conflicting application regarding policy and strategy.
Biosimilars have the potential to create a more sustainable healthcare environment by offering substantial cost-savings and expanding patient access to life-saving therapies.
The advent of biologic drugs has had a significant impact on the management of patients with cancer. However, the high costs associated with these agents can hinder treatment access for many patients and place a significant burden on healthcare systems.

Three cancer centers share their experiences related to the struggle of understanding wide variations in the application of sterile compounding and safe handling of oncology hazardous drugs, and the costs and operating burdens of compliance with and adherence to current pharmacy standards.

“It is time for us to bury the concept of maximum-tolerated dose in the world of targeted therapy,” according to Allen S. Lichter, MD, FASCO.

A persistent medi­­cation safety issue is getting the attention it has long deserved. In an effort to save lives related to the accidental intrathecal dosing of vincristine, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has launched a program called “Just Bag It: The NCCN Campaign for Safe Handling of Vincristine."

Hollywood, FL—Results from a survey of oncology pharmacists from across the country indicate that the verification process for chemotherapy orders is not uniformly electronic. In fact, >25% of responders are still using paper orders, said Carly Duncan, PharmD candidate, of the Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston. She presented findings from her and her colleagues’ survey at the 2016 annual conference of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Lymphomas are a group of blood cancers that originate in the lymphatic system. The primary function of this system is to help the body fight infection.
“There is a very strong link between shift work and lack of sleep, and fewer hours of sleep can translate to a higher risk for obesity and disease,” according to Eva S. Schernhammer, MD, DrPH, who spoke at the recent American Association for Cancer Research International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research.
Data presented at the 2015 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium illustrated that the biosimilar epoetin alfa (HX575, Binocrit) can safely correct anemia and maintain hemoglobin levels.
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