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National Comprehensive Cancer Network

Educational Events & Programs

Policy Summit:
Value, Access, and Cost of Cancer Care


Click here to view the white paper.

On Friday, September 11, 2015, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) hosted its Policy Summit: Value, Access, and Cost of Cancer Care, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

The policy summit was held in response to a variety of issues associated with the access, value, and cost of cancer care. Value is often understood as benefits of treatment or quality of care weighed against the economic cost, it has been less clear which costs and benefits must be considered. The combination of increasingly unsustainable rises in the costs of cancer care, the accelerating pace of expensive innovations in oncology, and persistent hope for rescue in patients with life-threatening disease require solutions that incorporate and promote value.

Access to appropriate cancer care is of vital importance to all patients with cancer and their families. Patients must have access to provider networks that include oncologists and cancer centers. In addition to expanding health insurance coverage for millions of people, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also requires that health plans participating in Marketplaces must meet network adequacy standards. These criteria ensure that consumers have access to needed care without “unreasonable delay.”

Advances in technology and understanding of cancer biology have led to the introduction of a variety of new diagnostics and treatments in oncology. Innovation often results in increased costs and in return higher costs for treating cancer. Concern has been expressed that this cost is placing a tangible and increasing burden on patients and our society. Some reasons cited for high drug prices are the high cost of cancer drug development, the “monopoly” that cancer drugs enjoy once approved, the higher prices patients and society seem willing to pay, and the failure to take economic considerations into account in the drug approval and pricing processes.

The summit addressed a variety of issues associated with the access, value, and cost of cancer care. Possible areas for discussion and exploration included value provided by academic cancer centers, the impact of narrow networks on access, the effect of cost on innovation, pricing of specialty drugs and biosimilars, the impact of the 340B Drug Discount program, drug pricing by indication, stacked drug pricing, and the impact of early access program on the development and cost of new agents. Ultimately, the summit explored the convergence of access, value, and cost; and the impact of these three concepts on patients with cancer.

Recommendations for best practices has been formulated and published as a white paper in JNCCN – Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Click here for the white paper.

If you have questions about the NCCN Policy Summit Series, please contact Katy Winckworth-Prejsnar, Quality of Oncology Care Fellow.


Supported by a sponsorship from AbbVie. Supported by Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, Inc. This activity is supported by an educational donation provided by Amgen. Supported by ApoBiologix, a Division of Apotex Corp. Supported by Astellas. Sponsored by AstraZeneca. Supported by Biodesix, Inc. Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Supported by an unrestricted grant from Eisai, Inc. Supported by EMD Serono. Supported by a grant from Galena Biopharma, Inc. Supported by Gilead Sciences, Inc. Supported by HELSINN. Supported by Incyte Corporation. Supported by a grant from ImmunoGen, Inc. Supported by Janssen. This activity is supported by a contribution from Lilly. Supported by Medivation, Inc. Supported by an independent educational grant from Merck & Co., Inc.. Supported by Nanostring. Sponsored by Novartis Oncology. Supported by Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., An Amgen subsidiary. Supported by Pharmacyclics LLC. Supported by Takeda Oncology. Supported by Teva Oncology.

As of 7.22.15

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