[All summit participants] agreed that the steep upward cost trajectory raises critical concerns about affordability and accessibility of quality cancer care and that we must, collectively, find solutions that are driven by patient needs, medical evidence, and clearly defined value.
—Clifford Hudis, MD, FACP
ASCO convened a leadership summit in late January with pharmaceutical representatives, insurance payers, patient advocates, and physicians to initiate a dialogue on the challenge of defining value in cancer care. This meeting was held amid growing concerns about the sustainability of continued increases in the costs of new drugs and technologies used in the diagnosis and treatment
While costs are rising throughout the health-care system, the trend is especially pronounced in cancer care: Annual costs are projected to rise from $125 billion in 2010 to $175 billion by 2020 (in constant dollars), with the costs of many new cancer drugs and technologies a significant—but not the only—contributing factor.
ASCO held the “Summit on Optimizing High Value Cancer Care: Addressing the Cost of Drugs and Novel Technologies” to initiate a dialogue among key stakeholders with the ultimate goal of seeking potential solutions that will sustain and accelerate innovation, and to promote increased patient access while reining in costs and enhancing value in cancer care.
Summit Initiates Robust Discussion on Affordability
The invitation-only, day-long event featured presentations that focused on increasing the affordability of cancer drugs and technologies—from patient, provider, payer, industry, and regulatory perspectives—and concluded with a robust discussion on innovative patient-centered approaches for ensuring high-quality, high-value cancer care and a plan for stakeholder groups to continue working collaboratively on this issue.
“We were impressed by the earnest efforts of every summit participant, each of whom represents interests that play a critical role in the success of our health-care system,” said ASCO President Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP. “All agreed that the steep upward cost trajectory raises critical concerns about affordability and accessibility of quality cancer care and that we must, collectively, find solutions that are driven by patient needs, medical evidence, and clearly defined value.”
Building on a long-standing commitment to foster high-quality, evidence-based care, ASCO has launched a new strategic initiative to promote value in cancer care. Under the leadership of its Value in Cancer Care Task Force, ASCO is working to ensure that oncologists have the skills and tools needed to assess relative value of therapies and use these in discussing treatment options with their patients; that patients will have ready access to information that assists them in selecting high value treatment that meets their unique needs; and that providers have a clear method for defining and assessing value of cancer treatment options. ■
© 2014. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.