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Oncology Newsfeed

  • FDA Approves Ruxience (rituximab-pvvr) for Adult NHL, CLL, Some Auto-Immune Conditions

    Pfizer Inc. announced on July 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Ruxience™ (rituximab-pvvr), a biosimilar to Rituxan® (rituximab), for the treatment of adult patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA).

    Read the corporate press release.

    Posted 7/24/2019



  • ACS Launches Geriatric Surgery Verification Program

    On July 19, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) launched a new Geriatric Surgery Verification (GSV) Program at the ACS Quality and Safety Conference. The new surgical quality improvement program introduces 30 new surgical standards designed to systematically improve surgical care and outcomes for the aging adult population. Hospitals can implement to continuously optimize surgical care for this vulnerable population.

    Read the ACS press release here.

    Posted 7/22/2019


  • CMS Proposes CY 2020 & 2021 New Home Infusion Therapy Benefit

    On July 11, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule [CMS-1711-P] that provides for routine updates to the home health payment rates for calendar year (CY) 2020, in accordance with existing statutory and regulatory requirements. The rule includes proposals related to implementation of the permanent home infusion therapy benefit in 2021.

    The 21st Century Cures Act established the Medicare home infusion benefit, which will reimburse for nursing services, patient training and education, remote monitoring services and monitoring services for home infusion therapy treatments. The benefit enables home infusion of certain drugs including anti-infectives, chemotherapy, or treatment for immune deficiencies.

    The proposed rule would permit therapist assistants to provide maintenance therapy. The proposal includes proposed payment categories, amounts, and required and optional adjustments.

    Read CMS fact sheet.
    Access the proposed rule.

    Posted 7/18/2019


  • ACCC Summary of RO Model Highlights Key Considerations

    On July 10, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new details of a proposed bundled payment model for radiation oncology services (“RO Model”). As proposed, the model would make fundamental (but temporary) changes to the way that Medicare pays for radiation therapy in certain randomly chosen geographic areas. Under the proposed model, Medicare would pay providers a pre-determined, site-neutral bundled rate for most services provided in a 90-day episode of radiation therapy, rather than paying for each service individually. The proposed model would be mandatory for providers selected to participate and is intended to incentivize providers to deliver radiation therapy services more cost-effectively while maintaining or improving the quality of care delivered.

    The Association of Community Cancer Centers has released a summary of the proposed RO Model, including potential implications for providers and manufacturers offering radiation therapy services and products. The summary covers top-of-mind consideration for this model, as proposed, and outlines questions for further analysis going forward as ACCC works with stakeholders to further evaluate the proposal.

    Based on the proposed rule’s anticipated date of publication date in the Federal Register, comments on the proposal will be due September 16, 2019.

    Posted 7/16/2019



  • Administration Withdraws Proposed Drug Rebate Rule

    On July 11, the White House announced withdrawal of its proposed drug rebate rule that would have removed rebates from government drug plans. 

    “Based on careful analysis and thorough consideration, the President has decided to withdraw the rebate rule,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere. “The Trump administration is encouraged by continuing bipartisan conversations about legislation to reduce outrageous drug costs imposed on the American people, and President Trump will consider using any and all tools to ensure that prescription drug costs will continue to decline.”

    The controversial proposed rule fueled a rift in the Administration with HHS Secretary Alex Azar supporting the curbing of drug rebates and other White House officials in opposition due to the potential for the proposal to increase Medicare spending by nearly $200 billion.

    The proposed rule was considered central to the Administration's drug pricing reform plan. Withdrawal of the proposal likely signals an even greater focus by the Administration on its proposed International Pricing Index Model for Medicare Part B Drugs, which is currently undergoing review at the White House. 

    Posted 7/11/2019





  • CMS Releases Proposed Radiation Oncology Model Rule

    On July 10, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposal for a new mandatory Medicare Payment Model – the Radiation Oncology Model (RO Model) that seeks to promote the inclusion of radiation oncology in the evolution of value-based care arrangements in cancer care.

    This model would be conducted under the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) at CMS, and is proposed as a four-year model, running from 2020 through 2024. The proposal seeks to include 17 cancer types in the RO Model that would make prospective episode-based payments to participants in a site-neutral manner. The RO Model would also be furnished to provide physicians the opportunity to participate in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) under the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Participation in the RO Model would be required based upon radiation therapy (RT) services furnished in randomly selected Core Based Statistical Areas (CBST).
    More details on the proposed model if available from CMMI here.

    The ACCC policy team is continuing to analyze the effect of this proposal across our entire membership. CMS is accepting comments from relevant stakeholders up to 60 days after the release of this proposed rule into the Federal Register.

    Posted 7/10/2019



  • FDA Approves Selinexor for Multiple Myeloma

    On July 3, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to selinexor (Xpovio, Karyopharm Therapeutics) in combination with dexamethasone for adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) who have received at least four prior therapies and whose disease is refractory to at least two proteasome inhibitors, at least two immunomodulatory agents, and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody.

    As a condition of accelerated approval, further clinical trials may be required to verify and describe selinexor’s benefit. FDA granted this application fast track designation and orphan drug designation. 

    Read FDA announcement.

    Posted 7/3/2019


  • FDA Approves Daratumumab in Combo for Multiple Myeloma Ineligible for ASCT

    On June 27, the  U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced approval of daratumumab (Darzalex®) in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT).

    Read FDA announcement


  • FDA Approves Bevacizumab-bvzr (Zirabev™) Avastin Biosimilar

    On June 28, Pfizer Inc. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has approved Zirvabev™ (bevacizumab-bvzr), a biosimilar to Avastin® (bevacizumab), for the treatment of five types of cancer: metastatic colorectal cancer; unresectable, locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); recurrent glioblastoma; metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC); and persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer.

    Read corporate press release.

    Posted 6/28/2019


  • Senate HELP Committee Adds More Drug Pricing Reform Measures to S.1895

    On June 25, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee leaders added bipartisan legislation to S. 1895 (116), the Lower Health Care Costs Act. In marking up the bill, legislators are expected to incorporate large-scale proposals to tackle drug pricing reform from Congress, including, surprise medical billing legislation, telehealth access legislation, generics competition legislation, and a tobacco 21 proposal.

    Posted 6/25/2019