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Home > Mediaroom > Press Releases > 2010 > Association of Community Cancer Centers Launches Part B—Drug Information Guide

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
Lori Gardner, Senior Director
Communications & Marketing
301.984.9496 ext. 226
lgardner@accc-cancer.org

ACCC News Release

For Immediate Release: October 5, 2010

Association of Community Cancer Centers Launches Part B—Drug Information Guide

An indispensable online and print resource for the oncology team

ROCKVILLE, Md.—The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) has launched its Part B - Drug Information Guide to help oncologists and pharmacists, as well as oncology support and administrative staff, navigate the increasingly complex area of drug information and coverage. ACCC's Part B - Drug Information Guide is a compilation of oncology drugs from the nationally recognized drug compendia, as well as the conditions that the compendia list for these drugs.

"ACCC's Part B - Drug Information Guide is designed as an easy-to-use listing—both in print and online," said ACCC President Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP. "It is the first step in determining whether there is evidence on the appropriateness of use of an oncology drug for a specific oncology-related condition."

The following information is included within the Part B - Drug Information Guide:

ACCC's Part B - Drug Information Guide is available online at www.accc-cancer.org/druginfo. Listings will be updated online on the first day of each month. The publication is printed annually.

"ACCC's Part B - Drug Information Guide requires users to actively participate in the coverage process," said Dr. Benson, "and is not a stand-alone document. It is the first step in determining whether there is evidence on the appropriateness of use of an oncology drug for a specific oncology-related indication."

Where such evidence exists users must obtain more information by 1) reading through the relevant sections of each compendium themselves or 2) contacting the manufacturer(s) and asking for evidence of appropriateness. This evidence may then be submitted to carriers to support coverage.

A listing of an indication for a drug or biologic in the Part B - Drug Information Guide means that at least one of the four nationally recognized drug compendia lists that indication in its reviews of that drug or biologic. The four CMS-recognized compendia as of September 2010 include: The American Hospital Formulary Service Drug Information® (AHFS-DI®); Thomson Reuters DrugDex®; the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Drugs & Biologics Compendium™; and Gold Standard/Elsevier’s Clinical Pharmacology. A compendium is a comprehensive listing of FDA-approved drugs and biologics. Compendia may include a summary of how each drug works in the body, as well as information for healthcare practitioners about proper dosing and whether the drug is recommended or accepted for use in treating a specific disease.

In the majority of cases, a listing within the Part B - Drug Information Guide means that the listing compendium concludes that the use of a drug for the indication is supported by evidence and is appropriate. However, this is not always the case. In some instances the listing compendium is ambivalent or may even explicitly reject use of the listed drug for a specific indication.

Off-label drug use refers to indications outside of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) label. The policy that Medicare consider coverage of an off-label use of a cancer drug if it is in the CMS-recognized drug compendia, or is supported by peer-reviewed articles in certain journals outlined by Medicare, became law with the passage of the Rockefeller-Levin Bill. Named after its sponsors, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Representative Sander Levin (D-MI), the bill passed as part of the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA 93).

ACCC's Part B - Drug Information Guide has been designed to replace ACCC's Compendia-based Drug Bulletin.

About the Association of Community Cancer Centers
The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is the leading advocacy and education organization for the multidisciplinary cancer care team. More than 23,000 cancer care professionals from over 2,500 hospitals and practices nationwide are affiliated with ACCC. Providing a national forum for addressing issues that affect community cancer programs, ACCC is recognized as the premier provider of resources for the entire oncology care team. Our members include medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, cancer program administrators and medical directors, senior hospital executives, practice managers, pharmacists, oncology nurses, radiation therapists, social workers, and cancer program data managers. For more information, visit ACCC's website at www.accc-cancer.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and read our blog, ACCCBuzz.

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