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Small-Cell Lung Cancer Patients Face Barriers To Receiving Standard-of-care Treatment

(MD Anderson) Jan 4, 2018 - Despite decades of clinical research establishing chemotherapy with thoracic radiation as the standard-of-care for the initial management of non-metastatic small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), a large percentage of U.S. patients do not receive these treatments and in turn have lower overall survival, according to research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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William McGivney, PhD (Posted: January 04, 2018)

quotesAs new innovative treatments are advancing to market, it is disconcerting to see that standard treatments such as the radiation component of the combination of chemotherapy with radiation are not being accessed by patients due (still) in part to coverage issues with Medicare/Medicaid. This then raises issues about how coverage policy will keep up today (in 2018) with the rapid advances for the treatment of cancers, including SCLC. The findings of this MD Anderson study are not encouraging! Years ago in moderating a session, I asked the Chief Medical Officer of Medicare, in a half-serious, half-facetious way, if we really needed coverage policy any more as it seemed to be more hindering of access and availability than facilitating. I think today, I would move the question to being 80% serious. Coincidently, as I was writing this, I was interrupted by a phone call survey regarding my views of the PBM managing my Part D benefit! Needless to say, questions, such as “how helpful the PBM’ was, were met with responses approaching the nadir of appreciation! quotes

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