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Surveyed Oncologists Say That the Most Promising Targeted Therapy in Adjuvant Clinical Trials is Avastin for the Treatment of Early-Stage Colorectal Cancer
Date:10/14/2008

Despite Widespread Use, Formulary Coverage of Targeted Cancer Therapies is

Inconsistent, According to a New Report from Decision Resources

WALTHAM, Mass., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, of the many targeted cancer agents in Phase III clinical trials in the adjuvant setting, surveyed oncologists say that Genentech/Roche/Chugai's Avastin in early-stage colorectal cancer holds the most promise to achieve regulatory approval. Additionally, more than half of surveyed oncologists indicated that the minimum benefit that would persuade them to prescribe Avastin for early-stage colorectal cancer would be an 18 percent improvement in overall survival rates or a 21 percent improvement in disease-free survival rates.

The new Physician & Payer Forum report Targeted Cancer Therapies: The Shift from Metastatic to Early-Stage Disease. Clinician and Payer Attitudes finds that, in addition to Avastin, nearly all surveyed oncologists prescribe Genentech/Roche/Chugai's Herceptin, GlaxoSmithKline's Tykerb, Pfizer's Sutent and Bayer Healthcare/Onyx's Nexavar for their approved indications in cancer, which include breast cancer, non-small-cell lung cancer and renal cell carcinoma. The report finds that, while these agents have survival benefits, formulary coverage by managed care organizations (MCOs) of targeted cancer agents is inconsistent despite regulatory prescription drug plan guidelines that call for coverage of virtually all anti-tumor agents.

According to the report, MCO pharmacy directors commonly cite insufficient clinical benefit over cheaper alternatives as the reason for lack of reimbursement for targeted cancer therapies. Evidence has demonstrated that patients who have failed Herceptin in the metastatic setting should switch to Tykerb, and, according to National Cancer Institute guidelines, patients who fail Sutent could
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SOURCE Decision Resources
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