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Industry News Archive

  • CMS Issues Product-Specific J-code for Adakveo®

    Novartis is pleased to announce that for dates of service on or after July 1, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a product-specific J-code: J0791 for injection, crizanlizumab-tmca, 5 mg. The updated billing unit is 5 mg.

    The new and unique J-code replaces all previous HCPCS codes for crizanlizumab-tmca (Adakveo®, Novartis) for IV Infusion 10 mg/mL. The permanent J-code is used by all payer types.

    Please note: For dates of service before July 1, 2020, use either J3490 (unclassified drugs, all sites of care) or J3590 (unclassified biologics, all sites of care). For dates of service between April 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020, some payers may allow the use of C9053 (injection, crizanlizumab-tmca, 1 mg, hospital outpatient).

    See full prescribing information.

    Posted 6/12/20



  • FDA Approves Nivolumab for Previously Treated Advanced Esophageal SCC

    On June 10, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nivolumab (Opdivo) for patients with unresectable advanced, recurrent or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) after prior fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-based chemotherapy.

    Read the FDA announcement.

    Posted 6/11/2020



  • FDA Approves Nivolumab+Ipilimumab Combo as 1st Line Treatment for Metastatic NSCLC

    On May 26, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo, Bristol Myers Squibb Co.) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy, Bristol Myers Squibb Co.) and 2 cycles of platinum-doublet chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with metastatic or recurrent non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with no epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) genomic tumor aberrations.

    Read full FDA announcement.

    Posted May 27, 2020



  • FDA Approves Pomalidomide for Patients with AIDS-Related KS

    On May 14, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pomalidomide (Pomalyst®, Bristol Myers Squibb) capsules for the treatment of adult patients with AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma (KS) after failure of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) or in patients with KS who are HIV-negative. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate. 


    Read corporate announcement.


    Posted 5/26/2020



  • FDA Approves Olaparib + Bevacizumab as Maintenance Treatment for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

    On May 8, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved olaparib (Lynparza) in combination with bevacizumab for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer who are in complete or partial response to 1st-line platinum-based chemotherapy and whose cancer is associated with homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) positive status defined by either a deleterious or suspected deleterious BRCA mutation, and/or genomic instability. Patients will be selected for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic test.

    Read the corporate press release.

    Read the Lynparza PAOLA-1 Testing Medical Policy Considerations.

    Posted 5/21/2020



  • FDA Approves Olaparib for HRR Gene-Mutated mCRPC

    On May 19, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved olaparib (Lynparza) for adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline or somatic homologous recombination repair (HRR) gene-mutated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), who have progressed following prior treatment with enzalutamide or abiraterone.

    On the same day, the FDA also approved FoundationOne CDx (Foundation Medicine, Inc.) for selection of patients with mCRPC carrying HRR gene alterations and BRACAnalysis CDx test (Myriad Genetic Laboratories, Inc.) for selection of patients with mCRPC carrying germline BRCA1/2 alterations as companion diagnostic devices for treatment with olaparib.  

    Read full FDA announcement.

    Posted 5/20/2020



  • FDA Approves Atezolizumab for 1st-Line Treatment in Some Advanced NSCLC

    On May 18, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved atezolizumab (Tecentriq®) for the first-line treatment of adult patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have high PD-L1 expression (PD-L1 stained ≥ 50% of tumor cells [TC ≥ 50%] or PD-L1 stained tumor-infiltrating immune cells [IC] covering ≥ 10% of the tumor area [IC ≥ 10%]), with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations.

    On the same day, the FDA also approved the VENTANA PD-L1 (SP142) Assay (Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.) as a companion diagnostic device for selecting patients with NSCLC for treatment with atezolizumab.

    Read the full FDA announcement

    Posted 5/19/2020



  • Merck's Response to COVID-19

    During this unprecedented time, Merck is committed to ensuring its medicines and vaccines reach its patients and customers. This includes supporting patients who might need more help today with their medications, including those who are unemployed or have lost insurance coverage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    To learn about what support 
    options may be available, visit Merck's Access and Patient Assistance information page.

    For more details about Merck’s response to the coronavirus, visit its COVID-19 information page.

    Posted 5/13/2020



  • FDA Approves Capmatinib Tablets for Metastatic NSCLC

    On May 6, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved capmatinib (Tabrecta™, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation) tablets for the treatment of adult patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have a mutation that leads to mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) exon 14 skipping as detected by an FDA-approved test.

    This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate and duration of response.

    Read the corporate press release.

    Posted 5/12/2020



  • FDA Approves Olaparib + Bevacizumab as Maintenance Treatment for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

    On May 8, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved olaparib (Lynparza) in combination with bevacizumab for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer who are in complete or partial response to 1st-line platinum-based chemotherapy and whose cancer is associated with homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) positive status defined by either a deleterious or suspected deleterious BRCA mutation, and/or genomic instability. Patients will be selected for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic test.

    Read FDA announcement.

    Read the corporate press release. 

    Posted 5/11/2020




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