By Megan Martin, Communications Manager
In an effort to formally recognize organizations that support the appropriate, effective, and efficient use of oncology agents and care of patients, NCCN has created the NCCN Recognition Program. The new program will recognize managed care organizations (MCO) that establish and follow policies which cover both the routine costs of care for individuals enrolled in approved clinical trials, as well as the appropriate use of off-label drugs in oncology. The program also recognizes non-payor organizations such as those that provide case management, patient management, and other services that make good faith efforts to educate their clients about these issues.
"NCCN strongly supports the critically important option of participation in clinical trials for patients with cancer. However, the lack of coverage of routine costs associated with trials may cause patients to forgo enrollment. In addition, the availability of a broad therapeutic arsenal of innovative drugs and biologics with indications that are supported by evidence and compendia, but that are beyond the indications listed in the FDA label, is essential for the treatment of the vast array of diseases that we call cancers," said William T. McGivney, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, NCCN. "We are pleased to acknowledge and call attention to the admirable organizations that help ensure that their beneficiaries as patients have access to the best care."Managed care organizations eligible for recognition will be required to attest that they adhere to policies that cover the routine costs of care for individuals enrolled in approved clinical trials, as well as policies that cover the appropriate use of off-label drugs as indicated in the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium (NCCN Compendium™). Non-payor organizations will be required to attest that, while they do not establish or apply their own coverage policies, they encourage their clients to adopt these policies. Those meeting the requirements will be publicized on NCCN's website, NCCN.org.