COA Hosts Cancer Care Teams, Advocates, and Stakeholders for Largest Community Oncology Conference Ever

April 5, 2019

Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) Abuses and Patient Horror Stories Take Center Stage at Annual COA Conference

Physicians, Administrators, Nurses, Pharmacists, Advocates, and Stakeholders Come Together to Share Latest Innovations in Cancer Care

The most successful Community Oncology Alliance (COA) Community Oncology Conference ever, wrapped up today featuring a record-breaking nearly 1,600 community oncology physicians, administrators, practice staff, pharmacists, oncology nurses, patient advocates, and stakeholders.

Bigger and better than ever, the 2019 Community Oncology Conference was an unprecedented coming together of community oncology professionals completely focused on addressing the unique issues they face in ensuring that patients have access to high quality, affordable, cutting-edge cancer care close to where live and work.

The theme for the 2019 Community Oncology Conference was “Ensuring Quality, Affordable & Accessible Cancer Care.” These critically important areas for patients with cancer are a key differentiator for community oncology practices. The Conference focused on empowering practices and professionals to thrive in the community oncology system of the future.

In addition to expert presentations across the unique four track format for clinicians, administrators, pharmacists, and advocates, attendees of 2019 Community Oncology Conference heard from keynote speakers Shelley Smith of ESPN and Jake Olson formerly of the USC, a dynamic duo of cancer survivors with an inspiring story of friendship.

A recurring theme at the 2019 Community Oncology Conference was the impact of pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) abuses and patient horror stories. COA is a strong advocate against PBM abuses and raising awareness of the vast body of evidence of the incompetence and greed of PBM. These middlemen have not only failed to reduce drug prices but have, ironically, caused them to increase thanks to the network of shadowy rebates and discounts they inflict on patients and pharmacies.

To help raise awareness of the patient impact of PBM abuses, at the 2019 Community Oncology Conference COA released the fifth in its series of papers documenting real-life PBM horror stories from patients and oncology professionals across the country. The series presents real patient stories collected from community oncology practices of PBMs changing prescriptions without authorization, unconscionable bureaucratic and clerical errors, and causing patients lengthy delays in receiving needed medications.

Seeking to raise awareness of PBM abuses, attendees at the 2019 Community Oncology Conference also heard about a renewed effort behind COA’s “PBM Abuses” campaign, a major undertaking completely focused on patients, sharing their stories to reach policymakers and the general public. Launching this spring, the PBM abuses campaign seeks to let all of America know how PBMs are hurting patients and impacting the abilities of cancer care professionals to fight cancer.

Presentations from the 2019 Community Oncology Conference are being posted online at www.COAConference.org. Follow along with the Conference on Twitter and Facebook using hashtag #COA2019.

Save the date for the 2020 Community Oncology Conference, which will take place April 23-24, 2020, once again at the renovated Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

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About the Community Oncology Alliance (COA): The majority of Americans battling cancer receive treatment in the community oncology setting. Keeping patients close to their homes, families, and support networks lessens the impact of this devastating disease. Community oncology practices do this while delivering high-quality, cutting-edge cancer care at a fraction of the cost of the hospital setting. The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) advocates for community oncology and smart public policy that ensures the community cancer care system remains healthy and able to provide all Americans with access to local, quality, affordable cancer care. Learn more at www.CommunityOncology.org. Follow COA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/oncologyCOA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CommunityOncologyAlliance.