OBR Daily Commentary

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MedPAC Mulls Changes to Part B Drug Program

(MedPage Today) March 3, 2017 - The Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) says that the way physicians are paid for administering drugs under Part B of the Medicare program should be changed, but not all committee members agree on how that change should occur.

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Winston Wong, PharmD (Posted: March 09, 2017)

quotesI am not sure that the consolidated billing for biosimilars is a good idea, mainly because these drugs are not interchangeable. Using a single consolidated J-code will imply that these drugs can be substituted for each other, and they are not. I am also concerned that using the WAC will eventually lead us back to the issue we saw with the inflated AWP.quotes

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Walgreens Designates Specialty Pharmacies as Cancer-Specialized Locations

(ACCC) Mar 6, 2017 - Walgreens announced that the company has designated more than 50 of its local specialty pharmacies as cancer-specialized locations.

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Winston Wong, PharmD (Posted: March 09, 2017)

quotesWhile I applaud Walgreens for putting together a focused effort in supporting the oncology patient, I am still concerned about the coordination with with oncology practice and their navigation efforts. All practices do not necessarily have medication support monitoring within their four walls, so the Walgreens program is a much needed gap filler. I guess it also goes to state that I hope that the pharmacists are able to dedicate the time to these patient, and not have to be worried about productivity numbers.quotes

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In-House Specialty Pharmacy at Cancer Center Improves Quality of Care, Reduces Medical Errors

(2017 Quality Care Symposium) Feb 27, 2017 - An influx of new oral cancer drugs provides patients with a more convenient and less invasive way to take medication, but such treatments are often associated with adherence challenges and medical errors.

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Winston Wong, PharmD (Posted: March 04, 2017)

quotesMost health plans require oral oncology agent to be dispensed through their specialty pharmacy program, with the promise by the specialty pharmacy for close monitoring for adverse effects and adherence. The problem, however, is that the oncologists are not kept informed of the patient issues, nor are they informed of a break in therapy. When the oral med is filled by the SP, a major disconnect usually happens. Maybe more effects is needed to provide integrated comprehensive care, as opposed to putting up barriers to oncology practices to stop them from coordinating the care of their patients.quotes

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Meet the Editorial Board

Community Oncology
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Dean Gesme, MD

FACP FACPE FASCO President, Minnesota Oncology...

Breast Cancer
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Debu Tripathy, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncol...

Lung Cancer
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H. Jack West, MD

Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program, Swedish Ca...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Howard S. Hochster, MD

Associate Cancer Center Director, Yale Cancer Center P...

Radiation Oncology
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Howard Sandler, MD, MS, FASTRO

Professor and Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology...

Community Oncology
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Jeff Patton, M.D.

CEO Tennessee Oncology...

Precision Medicine Section Editor
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Jennifer Levin Carter, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer and Founder, N-of-One...

Health Policy
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Joseph Bailes, MD

National Health Policy Expert...

Financial Sector
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Michael G. King Jr.

Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Richard Goldberg, MD

Professor and Physician-in-Chief of the Ohios State Uni...

Editor-In-Chief
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Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP

Professor and Director, Division of Hematology Oncology...

Community Oncology
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Thomas Marsland, MD

Vice President Integrated Community Oncology Network ...

Community Oncology
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William Harwin MD

Florida Cancer Specialists President and Managing Part...

Health Policy
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William McGivney, PhD

National Health Policy Expert...

Payer
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Winston Wong, PharmD

President, W-Squared Group...