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Reducing the Cost of Cancer Care with Automated Dose Rounding and Biosimilars

UCSF Health and Mayo Clinic lowered the cost of anticancer medications using automated dose rounding and biosimilar medications. With dose rounding, UCSF saved $2.3 million in 12 months, and Mayo Clinic saved $7.3 million in 6 months. Using biosimilars, Mayo Clinic saved $23 million over the course of a year

Aiming to reduce the cost of anticancer drugs for their hospitals and clinics, UCSF Health and Mayo Clinic adopted two pharmacy-based approaches: rounding doses to the nearest vial size and substituting biosimilars, medicines that are almost identical to more expensive originator biologic drugs. Like other groups around the country, both organizations found that automatically rounding doses to the nearest vial reduced the number of wasted vials and saved pharmacists from having to calculate rounding manually. By making preferred biosimilar medications the default choice in cancer treatment plans, both organizations increased the use of less expensive, therapeutically identical drugs where available saving millions of dollars.

How They Did It

  • Established organization-wide dose rounding standards for anticancer drugs
  • Defined rounding factors to calculate doses automatically at the time of ordering
  • Identified preferred biosimilar drugs based on payer requirements and price
  • Created simple ordering workflows for biosimilars

Read the full article on EpicShare