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ASCO 2017: Improving the Patient-Doctor Immunotherapy Discussion

Tony Hagen @oncobiz
Published: Monday, May 22, 2017

Oncologists are less willing to talk about immunotherapy options than patients would like, and new clinical trials are increasingly concentrated in certain geographical areas, affecting access to care, according to a sampling of abstracts in the care delivery category at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting, to be held June 2 to 6 in Chicago.

Patients said they were most interested in discussing treatment options, benefits, treatment logistics, and side effects with their providers. Providers said they felt the most important topics to discuss with patients were side effects, a realistic view of benefits, and treatment logistics. Whereas half of patients wanted to discuss treatment options, just 1 physician mentioned discussing options.

Pharma Payments and Prescribing Patterns

Oncologists who receive pharmaceutical industry payments prescribe more of those company’s drugs, according to a study from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.2 Researchers found that general payments, for meals, speaking fees, and lodging correlated with increased prescriptions, although less-consistent results were found for manufacturer research payments to oncologists.
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