American Association for Cancer Research

AACR CANCER POLICY MONITOR

CPM

                                                                                                           MARCH 2009

INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE WORKSHOP CONSIDERS STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING VALUE IN CANCER CARE

 

Experts from multiple perspectives explore the complexities of creating balance between escalating costs and clinical benefits.

The National Cancer Policy Forum (NCPF) at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM) held a two-day workshop February 9-10 to discuss the concept of value in cancer care and how to ensure that the benefit that patients receive from the latest cancer treatments is commensurate with the physical, emotional and financial costs.

The event gathered leaders representing a broad range of perspectives, including cancer researchers, providers, patients, patient advocates, insurers, government officials and industry representatives with the goal of reaching consensus on a practical, working description of value in oncology to serve as a model to benefit stakeholders and to contribute to the broader dialogue about value in health care.

The event featured more than 20 speakers, including Janet Woodcock, M.D., deputy commissioner and chief medical officer of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who offered the agency's perspectives on evidence for regulatory approval in cancer; expert panels that addressed topics ranging from physician-patient communication to insurance design; and discussion among attending stakeholders in the cancer community.

Panels focused on exploring the complexities in assessing and improving the value of cancer care, including the sense of urgency to cure disease or extend life, treatments that are both life-giving and highly toxic, distinctive payment structures, and pressure on providers to treat patients with the newest technologies, no matter the cost.

The NCPF exists to bring together a broad level of expertise to identify, assess and make recommendations on emerging national policy issues related to cancer. It encourages active collaboration and provides a focus within the IOM of the National Academies on issues in science, clinical medicine, public health and policy that are important to preventing and curing cancer, or mitigating its symptoms and effects.

The National Academies will publish a summary of the workshop to aid in future study of the issue and contribute to the ongoing national dialogue about improving the value of health care.

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