2008 Survey: Off-Label Drug Use by Practices
The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) and Covance Market Access Services, Inc., have released a final report on the "Impact of Payer Coverage and Reimbursement Policies on Off-Label Use of Anticancer Therapies." The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) also helped develop the survey.
Nearly half of the respondents report that their practice's frequency of off-label use of anticancer therapies has decreased over the past five years. Coverage and reimbursement challenges were the overwhelming reason cited by oncology practices for their decreased use of anticancer therapies for off-label uses. Oncology practices that report an increase in off-label use attribute their increased utilization to the availability of more drugs that have been shown to be effective in uses that are not yet FDA-approved.
Among other highlighted findings:
- Off-label use is extremely important to 50 percent of oncology practices surveyed, and is at least somewhat important to 79 percent of oncology practices.
- Approximately 87 percent of oncology practices have prescribed at least one anticancer drug for an off-label use.
- More than half of oncology practices surveyed consider drug compendia extremely important to their practice’s use of off-label anticancer therapies; 81 percent consider drug compendia at least somewhat important.
- For nearly 40 percent of oncology practices, 25 percent or less of off-label use is supported by drug compendia.
- Oncology practices rely on a variety of sources of information to make off-label treatment decisions for anticancer therapies.
Using ACCC's comprehensive member list, Covance sent survey invitations to nearly 3,500 office-based oncology practices. A total of 165 responses were received from physicians, practice managers, and administrators in geographically diverse areas and of mixed practice sizes.