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91 Percent of Oncologists Polled Report Adverse Patient Events as Result of CMS National Coverage Decision on ESAs
Date:1/30/2008

ide supporting evidence to the beliefs of many practicing medical oncologists (73 percent), that the national coverage decision is creating a two-tiered system of health care where Medicare patients do not have access to the same quality of treatment or quality of life as non-Medicare patients," said Dr. Roy Beveridge, a practicing medical oncologist in the Fairfax, Va. area.

"There is published medical evidence that demonstrates how to safely and more effectively use ESAs in cancer patients and now, this study suggests there is also a real patient care need to find a better way for all patients."

In one section of the study, the respondents were asked to list the benefits of the NCD on ESA. In these open-ended responses, perceptions of the NCD were not generally positive, however, there was some agreement that it could help address the financial issues associated with ESA use. Few respondents named positive value or benefit to the patients they serve. The most frequently cited responses included:

-- 31 percent No benefits/none.

-- 24 percent Less abuse and/or more efficient use

-- 14 percent Cost savings

-- 13 percent Limiting negative side effects and/or improving survival

-- 11 percent Saving the federal government money

-- 6 percent Avoiding Hgb levels that exceed clinically safe limits

The surveyed physicians were asked to identify issues and/or challenges associated with the NCD. In this open-ended question, a substantial number of patient care issues and/or challenges were provided. The most frequently provided responses included:

-- 29 percent More transfusions

-- 25 percent Lower quality of life

-- 20 percent Anemic patients

-- 21 percent Patient cannot maintain Hgb level

-- 17 percent Too restrictive and/or complicated guideline

-- 15 percent Not able to personalize or to provide best treatment

-- 10 percent Complian
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SOURCE US Oncology, Inc.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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