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The Next Evolution in Improving Cancer Care and Reducing Costs

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| November 22, 2010 |

ONCOLOGY & BIOTECH NEWS – November 2010 Issue

 

Next Evolution
OP-ED By Eduardo Beruff 

Nowhere today is there a greater need for a unified solution to improve access to care, patient outcomes, and cost-efficiency than in cancer care. Comprising hundreds of different diseases with thousands of therapeutic choices, cancer seems to defy a simple solution to address its complexity and costs. As experts of varying perspectives search for methods to address this challenge, it has become clear that an effective solution will require improved partnership and communication among all participants in the cancer treatment process. The challenge lies in the development of innovative tools and the information systems necessary to facilitate this alignment.

The challenges of cancer treatment are compounded by a variety of factors—some positive, many negative—that appear to place a universal solution further out of reach. These include the pace of development of cancer drugs; the gap between academic centers and community oncologists in accessing information and innovation; and the current managed care environment—particularly, the growing role of payers in driving treatment choices and reimbursement. In addition to these trends, the projected increase in the need for cancer care in the coming decade is expected to significantly outpace the growth of the oncology specialty, resulting in a potential shortfall of several thousand oncologists, according to an Association of American Medical Colleges Survey conducted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

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