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Oncology issue – expanded content

We’ve added more on the latest developments in R&D, new drugs, plus cutting-edge cost management techniques from OptumRx.
June, 2014 Issue 16

Management strategy overview

Cutting-edge cost management techniques from OptumRx and UnitedHealthcare.

Smarter injectable oncology drug reimbursement

Managing oncology medication costs requires deep insight into both the medical and pharmacy benefit worlds.

New and experimental drug approval process

Learn about the latest blockbuster oncology medications.

Immunotherapy: The next big thing?

Immunotherapy promises to use the body’s own defenses to fight cancer, without toxic chemotherapy drugs.

Oncology backgrounder

Join our wide-ranging analysis of the oncology drug class — costs, drivers, management strategies and more. It all begins here.

The high cost of cancer

See how the cost of cancer medications has risen and how those costs are distributed across the health care system.

Cancer cost drivers

Demographics and the high cost of new cancer drugs will drive the cost of cancer care for decades to come.

Letter from the
Chief Pharmacy

Susan V. Maddux
PharmD. BCPS,
Chief Pharmacy Officer

June, 2014 Issue 16

In this issue

  • Oncology issue – expanded content
  • Management strategy overview
  • Smarter injectable oncology drug reimbursement
  • New and experimental drug approval process
  • Immunotherapy: The next big thing?
  • Oncology backgrounder
  • The high cost of cancer
  • Cancer cost drivers

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Letter from the Chief
Pharmacy Officer


Welcome to Part 2 of our special oncology edition of Pharmacy InFocus. Oncology is the first in a series of special reports we have planned for 2014 on the top specialty spending categories – oncology, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and HIV.

In part 2 of our oncology report we present articles with greater detail on these critical areas:

  • New directions in oncology research
  • New drugs on the immediate horizon
  • Deeper insight into exactly how we manage these costs

For your convenience we offer information in three distinct formats:

Drug Class Insight
The key component in each report will be a new information resource called Drug Class Insight report. In it, our staff has compiled the important data you need about each specialty class – background, costs, cost drivers, new drugs and most importantly, management strategies. And all it is presented in a scan-friendly, graphics-rich format for quick access to the information you need.

Traditional articles
The forces driving oncology spend are complex and diverse; sometimes only a deeper dive will do. For those needs you have our usual Pharmacy InFocus format, where each aspect of the Class Insight report is treated in-depth, with additional detail and analysis to help promote increased understanding.

2 Minute Drill
Sometimes we simply don’t have time for an extended read, but we still want to see the highlights. Our popular 2 Minute Drill format compresses key facts about a topic into one, simple front-and-back sheet, for the ultimate in quick reading and easy comprehension.

Thank you for choosing to invest some of your valuable time with us. I’m confident that you will find the experience to be informative and useful.

As always, we want to hear from you. Look for the Send us your feedback button on the lower right-hand side of the main page and tell us what works – or doesn’t work for you.


Susan V. Maddux, Pharm.D., BCPS
Chief Pharmacy Officer