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Observational Study Finds Changes in Medicare Reimbursement for Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents Associated With Increased Need for Blood Transfusion
Date:12/6/2008

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers today report that after the implementation of Medicare coverage limitations for erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), a significantly greater proportion of anemic cancer patients who were on chemotherapy and who received ESAs needed blood transfusions and utilized more units of blood per patient than those patients who received ESAs prior to implementation of coverage limitations. The findings from this observational study will be presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology on Saturday, December 6th at 9:00 a.m. PST.

In July 2007, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued coverage limitations, in the form of a National Coverage Determination (NCD), for the use of ESAs in anemic cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. An ongoing, prospective, observational study [Dosing and Outcomes Study of Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Therapies (DOSE) registry] is evaluating ESA-treated anemic cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. The present analyses were conducted using data from this study, focused on patients covered by Medicare before and after implementation of the CMS NCD for ESAs.

"We wanted to examine the potential impacts on transfusion patterns and hematologic changes in anemic Medicare patients receiving chemotherapy treated with ESAs before and after implementation of the ESA coverage limitations," said study director Chris L. Pashos, PhD, Vice President, Abt Bio-Pharma Solutions, Inc. "Our analyses found increased transfusion rates and greater blood utilization in anemic Medicare patients receiving chemotherapy and treated with ESAs after implementation of the ESA NCD compared with before implementation of the ESA NCD."

Study Methods and Results

Data from 288 Medicare patients (pre-NCD: 230, post-NCD: 58) from 41 sites included in the DOSE registry were analyzed. Data we
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SOURCE Ortho Biotech Products, L.P.
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