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Spotlight on Value Calculators for Specialty Drugs: Is There a Mathematical Resolution to the Cost-Versus-Value Debate?

February 2016

As focus on the rising cost of cancer specialty drugs is transitioning to a debate over value-based care, the topic of using ‘Value Calculator’ methodologies to measure and compare the overall value of cancer therapies is becoming the subject of frequent and heated discussion.


This is the topic of an article by Dr. Bruce Feinberg and Dr. Lincy S. Lal of Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, and Dr. J. Michael Swint of the University of Texas in Houston, recently published in the American Journal of Managed Care’s Evidence-Based Oncology.

In their article, "Is There a Mathematical Resolution to the Cost-Versus-Value Debate?”, the authors take a detailed look at three value-based care models being developed by influential professional society and provider organizations. The team describes three models including the ASCO Value Framework, DrugAbacus from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Evidence Blocks from NCCN, and how they determine value as a combination of factors that can include; safety, efficacy, efficiency, consistency of evidence, and equity.

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