PHARMACY

Aetna, Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions partner on evidence-based cancer care program in Michigan

BY Michael Johnsen

HARTFORD, Conn. — Aetna and Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions on Tuesday announced an evidence-based program designed to improve cancer care in Michigan. This pathways initiative identifies clinical practices that improve cancer treatment and make it more affordable.

"We’re always working to make cancer care more effective for the patient," stated Ira Klein, Aetna’s lead oncology strategist and chief of staff to the chief medical officer. "Through this joint effort we help doctors make treatment decisions based on medical research and evidence. That leads to better patient outcomes."

A steering committee of state physicians has been formed to support the program. They will continue to update evidence-based treatment plans and supportive care plans for certain types of cancer.

Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions will give Aetna network doctors technology, tools and training to help them use the treatment pathways. Doctors can then track the program’s key clinical outcomes.

Aetna and Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions launched pathways programs in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia last year. A program was introduced in Florida earlier this year.

 

 

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FDA grants additional market exclusivity to Eisai GERD drug

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration is allowing a drug made by Eisai for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease to retain its market exclusivity for six months past the original expiration date, the company said Tuesday.

Eisai said the FDA had granted six more months of exclusivity for the use of Aciphex (rabreprazole sodium) in children, meaning it will lose market exclusivity on Nov. 8, 2013.

Still, the decision does not mean the drug is approved for use in children, Eisai said. The drug maker has an approval application pending before the FDA for Aciphex delayed-release sprinkle capsules in the 5-mg and 10-mg strength for GERD in children aged 1 to 11, and the FDA expects to complete its review by Nov. 27, 2013.


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Reports: Congressional committee looking into compounding industry group’s practices

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A Congressional committee is looking into allegations that a compounding pharmacy industry association may have taught pharmacists how to sidestep requests for samples from the Food and Drug Administration, according to published reports.

Reuters reported that the House Energy and Commerce Committee had requested internal documents from the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists, citing a news report about the organization.

The request comes amid a nationwide meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated supplies of steroid drugs prepared at the New England Compounding Center that had sickened 541 people and killed 36 in 19 states as of Monday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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