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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

ce/implementation time and cost

In another section, the physicians were asked to indicate their agreement or disagreement with a series of statements about the NCD on a five-point scale. When asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement that the "ESA Guidelines Have Improved the Safety of ESA Use in Cancer Patients," only 25 percent of physicians somewhat or completely agreed. The respondents were also asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement, "The NCD is Representative of the Medical Evidence Surrounding the Use of ESAs and Their Value to Cancer Patients," only 21 percent completely or somewhat agreed.

"The oncology community is well aware of the escalating costs of cancer care in relation to the rising patient population and to the dramatic new therapies available to treat this horrible disease. Evidence-based medicine is generally accepted as the best approach for ensuring patients receive clinically-proven treatments to improve survival rates, while also reducing the cost variability of care," said Peter G. Ellis, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Director of Medical Oncology Network at UPMC Cancer Centers. "Many leading organizations, such as ASCO, NCCN, ASH and US Oncology have established evidence-based guidelines that are in alignment with the FDA label. And in this instance, it is not surprising that the community is expressing such discontent with a policy that they believe does not represent the prevailing medical evidence, or the best interests of their patients."

Tomaszweski added, "The importance of this type of research is rapidly increasing as public and private institutions come to grips with the need to balance cost and benefits in a world with limited resources and increasing demand. It is always important to understand and to measure the intended and unintended consequences. The evidence in this study points rather sharply to the need
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SOURCE US Oncology, Inc.
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