Innovative Approaches to Dispensing Oral Oncolytics in Community Oncology

Michael J. Reff, RPh, MBA
President, National Community Oncology Dispensing Association (NCODA)
This is the first part of a 3-part series on improving patient care through innovative approaches to dispensing oral oncolytic drugs in the community practice setting.

A little more than 2 years ago, a group of like-minded pharmacists from across New York State got together to create an initial framework that would help oncology practices deliver optimal care to their patients who are receiving oral oncolytics. A few months after that initial meeting, the National Community Oncology Dispensing Association (NCODA), Inc, was formed.


NCODA is a grassroots, not-for-profit, pharmacy-driven organization that is committed to supporting the continuity of care at the site of care by collaborating with all stakeholders who are involved in the oral oncolytic space, including patients, practices, payers, pharmacy benefit managers, employers, state boards of pharmacy, group purchasing organizations, and pharmaceutical companies. NCODA’s mission statement is a compass for stakeholders to follow, and which clearly articulates the importance of always channeling our passion to meet the needs of patients with cancer. The mission states: Our focus is to advance the value of dispensing practices for community oncology physicians. We will provide leadership, expertise, quality standards, and sharing of best practices with all members. We will deliver positive outcomes through collaboration with all stakeholders who are involved in the care of patients with cancer.

Value Proposition

NCODA’s innovative value proposition is centered on quality and value, with the sole focus of creating a sustainable platform for dispensing oral oncolytics by oncology practices for their patients. This platform promotes appropriate drug utilization to reduce overall healthcare costs, increase the speed to accessing therapy, and drive patient satisfaction and positive patient-reported outcomes. NCODA’s quality standards are divided into 4 domains and provide a road map for practices to follow. These 4 domains are:

  • Foundational
  • Patient-centered
  • Positive quality intervention
  • Informatics.

As an organization that now spans the United States and includes more than 60 community and health-system oncology practices, NCODA has made dramatic advancements in a short period by following its mission and by remaining true to the patients its members serve.

The core features of NCODA are:

  • Collaborating with large regional payers to gain the capability to dispense oral oncolytics beyond the first prescription fill
  • Partnering with drug companies to improve patient adherence to oral oncolytics
  • Educating state legislators to include oncology in specific regulations that promote patient safety
  • Developing patient education sheets on oral therapies with nationally recognized oncology leadership organizations to drive consistency and to educate patients on the safe use and handling of their oral medications
  • Addressing financial toxicity concerns through passionate financial support initiatives to remove financial obstacles and to increase medication persistence measures
  • Documenting enhanced patient convenience and speed to therapy via a national patient satisfaction survey to tell NCODA’s story and to identify opportunities for improvement
  • Communicating through an interactive website to educate all stakeholders on NCODA’s value proposition.

Our ultimate goal is to create an environment that can foster and result in positive change for patients with cancer who are receiving care in the community setting. If your oncology practice is not yet represented at NCODA, visit our website ( and consider joining us.

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