Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Doctors' Resources For Off-label Prescribing May Be Incomplete, Unclear

Date:
February 16, 2009
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
The resources doctors use to get important information about indications and reimbursement for use of cancer drugs off-label may be out-of-date and incomplete, according to a new study.

The resources doctors use to get important information about indications and reimbursement for use of cancer drugs off-label may be out-of-date and incomplete, according to a study led by researchers in the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The study, which was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), examined compendia – the online and hard copy resources that oncologists and pharmacists use when prescribing medications for diseases other than the ones for which they are FDA-approved – and found that they are sometimes unclear and do not appear to follow systematic methods to review or update evidence.

The researchers published their findings in the February 17, 2009 online issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

"Oncologists and pharmacists use the compendia to guide choice of drugs for cancer patients that are not FDA-approved for use in that patient's disease – an example would be bevacizumab – or Avastin – for brain cancer," said Amy Abernethy, M.D., an oncologist at Duke and lead investigator on the study. "Bevacizumab is approved for use in diseases such as colorectal and lung cancer; it is not FDA-approved for brain tumors, but we have evidence that suggests it could be effective in this population, including peer-reviewed studies."

When a drug is used off label, doctors and pharmacists can refer to the compendia for information on dosage; certain selected compendia can also be used as authoritative sources regarding whether the drug will be covered by Medicare, Abernethy said. Most private insurers also follow suit.

But Abernethy's study found that the compendia often did not include the most updated information on study findings, and there were significant and confusing differences between the way that common compendia presented and updated information. The researchers looked at six compendia determined to be the most commonly utilized, according to a sample of oncology pharmacists and oncologists at Duke and Tufts medical centers.

The compendia varied in many ways, including the off-label indications that were included, what was considered as evidence and the level of detail provided about the agent.

"Our study found that there are some limitations in the way the compendia are currently presented, and there are opportunities to improve the system," Abernethy said. "Determining how to improve it will be the next step for policymakers."

Other researchers involved in this study include Lori Orlando, Jane Wheeler, Julia Hammond and Douglas McCrory of Duke; and Gowri Raman, Ethan Balk and Joseph Lau of Tufts Medical Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Doctors' Resources For Off-label Prescribing May Be Incomplete, Unclear." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090216175120.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2009, February 16). Doctors' Resources For Off-label Prescribing May Be Incomplete, Unclear. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090216175120.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Doctors' Resources For Off-label Prescribing May Be Incomplete, Unclear." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090216175120.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins