COA Patient Advocacy Network
News Bulletin: October 2020
Advocacy Chat: What Patients Need to Know About White & Brown Bagging
Join us October 14 at 12 pm ET
Some insurers require patients and oncologists to use drugs delivered by their preferred third-party pharmacies (also referred to as specialty pharmacies) or make patients face higher out-of-pocket costs. This is called "white" or "brown" bagging, depending on how it is mandated, and these policies interfere with oncologists’ ability to treat patients safely, which may put them at greater risk of medical challenges. COA strongly opposes white and brown bagging policies. Oncologists—not insurers—should be making treatment decisions on behalf of their patients.

Please join our next Advocacy Chat on Wednesday, October 14th from 12-12:30 pm ET as Rose Gerber, COA’s Director of Patient Advocacy and Education, and our special guest Barbara L. McAneny, MD, a board-certified medical oncologist and hematologist from Albuquerque, N.M., immediate past president of the American Medical Association (AMA), and a long-serving COA board member, as she discusses the challenges white and brown bagging poses for patients and oncologists.
Have you been impacted by white or brown bagging?
Share your story. We want to hear from you!

Have you been impacted by white or brown bagging policies? For a chance to be featured in our next newsletter, submit your white & brown bagging story to CPAN.
Missed Our Last Advocacy Chat?
Watch past Advocacy Chats on YouTube!

Cancer patients need compassion, care, and access to information that can make a difference. CPAN’s September Advocacy Chat featured a conversation with CancerCare CEO Patricia Goldsmith discussing resources to address the emotional and financial needs of patients.

CPAN Chapter Spotlight:
Fort Wayne Medical Oncology and Hematology
CPAN Launch
Fort Wayne Medical Oncology and Hematology (FWMOH) joined CPAN to team up with with likeminded advocates across the country.

When a young patient with brain cancer needed a chemotherapy drug but couldn’t afford it, FWMOH staff worked to ensure the pharmaceutical company provided necessary financial support for successful treatment. Community oncologists routinely go above and beyond so patients get the best care.

This chapter’s success hinges on the dedication of its staff and advocates. Dr. Lakshmi Aggarwal, oncologist at FWMOH, and CPAN medical co-chair, stays personally committed to her chapter by participating in educational events like CPAN’s recent Virtual Advocacy Summit. Chapter Advocacy Leader Lisa Poiry partners with local universities and organizations to spark media interest and marketing opportunities for the practice. Their dedication to patient advocacy in the community has fostered several fruitful advances for the practice in this value-based care environment.

Cancer News You Can Use
Oncology Times
In mid-March 2020, community practices started experiencing a major drop in patients, according to summit speakers. About 30 percent of oncology practices saw at least a 30-49 percent drop in patient volume, said Lucio Gordan, MD, Managing Physician and President of Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute.

Managed Healthcare Executive – features OneOncology CEO, Jeff Patton
Oncologists, people with cancer, and a complex ecosystem of cancer care in the U.S. are grappling with reimbursement challenges, distorted incentives, the implications of the massive amount of data that is available, and, of course, high costs and prices. Below are thoughts from five experts on these challenges and how they might be met.

Pointing out that minority patients are "grossly underrepresented" in cancer clinical trials, [a trio of Boston University oncologists] urge all physicians who treat breast cancer patients to question whether the practice-changing data coming out of clinical trials are relevant to the patient sitting in front of them.
Community Oncology 101 Video:
What is Specialty Pharmacy?
Specialty pharmacies (also referred to as insurers’ preferred third-party pharmacies) provide cancer patients with oral medications and work best when dispensed within the practice.

Resources for Advocates
October is Breast Cancer Awareness and Liver Cancer Awareness month. Learn more by exploring the information resources below: