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2021 Guide to Patient Support Services

Pharmaceutical Companies Continue to Expand Patient Support Services for Their Cancer Medications

2021 Oncology Guide to Patient Support Services
Dalia Buffery, MA, ABD
VP, Senior Editorial Director
The Lynx Group

As the number of innovative and ever-improving cancer therapies introduced to the market continues to grow each year, so do the economic difficulties these life-saving medications pose to patients and their families. Even with health insurance coverage, many patients quickly exhaust their resources and require financial assistance to access these cancer-fighting agents.

The good news is that with this increasing number of promising treatment options to choose from, the majority of pharmaceutical companies today are providing financial assistance and other support services immediately with the launch of a new cancer medication, to help patients be able to access their much-needed medications.

The not-so-good news is that many patients, and many providers, are unaware of the abundant services offered by drug companies. Indeed, oncologists and the entire oncology care team are often unaware of the wealth of support services offered by pharmaceutical companies for patients with cancer. It is therefore vitally important that when patients with cancer are being prescribed their anticancer therapies, they should also receive specific information about what support programs and services are available for those medications, and how to access them.

The types of support services vary from company to company and can take many forms, including reimbursement services, copay and coinsurance assistance, nurse navigators, and personalized patient support. Additional services include benefit verification, insurance coverage determination, prior authorizations, and handling claims and appeals.

For patients without insurance or with insufficient drug coverage, free medication is usually available either directly through the drug manufacturer or through unaffiliated national foundations and nonprofit organizations.

To assist financial navigators and oncology providers with helping their patients take advantage of these many support services, the Seventh Annual Oncology Guide to Patient Support Services is a comprehensive resource that provides financial counselors, oncology practices, patient navigators, and other members of the cancer care team the information they need to facilitate their patients’ access to the available cancer support programs and services.

This latest edition of the Guide provides important updates on new support programs covering a wide range of treatments, including the many novel cancer drugs and new indications approved in 2020. This updated Guide reflects the growing focus of pharmaceutical companies on helping patients with cancer access life-saving medications at no cost, or at a much-reduced cost.

We urge all cancer care providers and oncology practices to review this information and share it with your patients.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The company profiles in this Guide are based on information posted online by the respective pharmaceutical companies as of December 10, 2020. Every effort has been made to verify the information up to that date. Any updates, including new drugs approved after that date, will not appear in this publication. The Publisher and the Editors are not responsible for any inaccuracies stemming from changes, new drug approvals, or company updates that became available later. Readers are advised to review the websites of each drug company for any updates and revisions.

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