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The Cancer Letter Inc.
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Tel: 202-362-1809
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publication date: May 13, 2016
ISSUE 19 - May 13, 2016 PDF

CMS Drug Payment Experiment Heads Toward Showdown on Capitol Hill

A demonstration project in which the Centers for Medicare& Medicaid Services hopes to investigate the impact of reimbursement based on Average Sales Prices of drugs is running into strong opposition, as a large number of cancer groups submitted public comments urging the agency to abandon the endeavor.

The agency’s stated goal for tweaking the ASP-based reimbursement formula is to learn whether it gives physicians the incentive to prescribe the most expensive treatments available.

Opponents—including oncology professional groups and pharmaceutical companies—say that experimentation with ASP-based reimbursement, which is currently set at ASP plus 4.3 percent, will make it economically unfeasible for oncology practices to treat Medicare patients.

Agus: $200 Million Interdisciplinary Institute to Focus on Data Modeling

A few years ago, at dinner with technology entrepreneur Larry Ellison, David Agus, director of the University of Southern California Center for Applied Molecular Medicine, mentioned his dream of opening an interdisciplinary cancer center.

“I said, it really would be an amazing thing if we could start to get people in one place and have residences, so the greatest physicists, mathematicians, engineers can actually come in and live there and be engrossed in cancer,” said Agus, professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

““Well, how much would it be to kind of put together such a building and program?” Ellison, Oracle Corporation’s chairman of the board and chief technology officer, said to Agus at the time.

“You know, about $200 million,” Agus said.

“Done,” Ellison responded.

      Slamming the Door

      Part XII: Scientists Vote with Their Feet

      In their op-ed piece, Gilman and Sharp stated what it would take to fix CPRIT’s problems. That was the polite version of the Gilman Plan.

      The spoken version was more blunt: get rid of the “assholes” on the oversight board, jettison the administrators, then—maybe—CPRIT’s credibility would be restored.

      NIH Makes Sweeping Changes in Clinical Center Governance

      The NIH Clinical Center will be placed under a new system of governance, similar to that of hospitals.

      Replacing Director John Gallin and the current management structure, NIH has begun “the process of changing the leadership structure of the Clinical Center to model those of world class hospitals in the United States,” institute officials said in a statement.

        ACS Report Assesses Progress in 25-Year Goal Against Mortality

        The American Cancer Society published a report assessing the progress made in its 25-year goal to reduce cancer death rates by 50 percent. The report finds areas where progress was substantial, and others where it was not.

        The report, appearing in the ACS journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, said the best improvements were seen in cancers for which prevention, early detection, and treatment tools are available, including cancers of the lung, colon, breast, and prostate.

          In Brief
          • Brigham Does Not Contest Plaintiffs' Offers of Proof as Morcellation Cases Proceed
          • American Urological Association presents 2016 awards at annual meeting

          • Tom Andrus named chief digital officer at Prostate Cancer Foundation

          • Stand Up to Cancer and Boston College publish nursing training modules in immunotherapy

          • CancerCare publishes report on patient access and engagement

          • Cancer Support Community Benjamin Center presents awards

          • City of Hope receives $2.3 million R01 grant from NCI

          • BioDelivery Sciences International and Collegium Pharmaceutical form collaboration

          • Thomas Jefferson University joins TriNetX research network

          • UCLA and Leica Biosystems to collaborate in digital pathology

          • St. Jude raises $4 million in campaign Univision

          • PhRMA members invested $58.8 billion in R&D in 2015

          Drugs and Targets
          • FDA expands Imbruvica label to include CLL and SLL

          • Health Canada approves Imbruvica in Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia

          • Health Canada grants conditional approval to Ibrance in breast cancer


          Copyright (c) 2016 The Cancer Letter Inc.