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Many Oral Anticancer Drugs Require Prior Authorization

Median time to drug receipt was seven days; prior authorization was associated with delayed time to drug receipt

THURSDAY, Sept. 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For adult oncology patients receiving oral anticancer drugs (OACDs), almost three-quarters of prescriptions require prior authorization (PA), according to a study presented at the annual ASCO Quality Care Symposium, held from Sep. 24 to 25 in Boston.

Morgan Lichtenstein, M.D., from New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, and colleagues prospectively collected data for all new OACD prescriptions for adult oncology patients from Jan. 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2019, to examine the clinical and process-related factors associated with PA and time to drug receipt (TTR). The cohort included 883 patients who were prescribed 1,014 new OACDs.

The researchers found that 72.3 percent of the OACD prescriptions required PA, with a median TTR of seven days. PA was associated with insurance and drug type in an unadjusted analysis, and delayed TTR correlated with PA and insurance type. After multivariable adjustment, the likelihood of requiring PA was increased for patients with Medicaid insurance versus Medicare (odds ratio, 1.93). In addition, the likelihood of requiring PA was increased for patients prescribed targeted and hormone therapies versus those prescribed oral chemotherapy (odds ratios, 3.33 and 4.26 for targeted and hormone therapies, respectively). In a separate multivariable analysis, PA was associated with delayed TTR and Medicaid correlated with shorter TTR (odds ratios, 1.62 and 0.59, respectively).

“More research is needed to understand the processes in place so that we can reduce the time it takes for patients to receive prescribed oral anticancer drugs,” Lichtenstein said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and other industries.

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