Preliminary Report: The Development of the NCCN Comparative Therapeutic Index™ as a Clinical Evaluative Process for Existing Data in Oncology

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The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) develops and communicates the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) to oncologists and other clinicians. The NCCN Guidelines are widely recognized and applied as the standard for clinical policy in the United States. These guidelines and related documents, such as the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium (NCCN Compendium), are used extensively by public and private payors as the basis for the setting of coverage policies. Given the demand for comparative effectiveness (CE) analyses, as described and discussed in this report, the NCCN has begun work on a paradigm to integrate evidence-based CE analysis into the NCCN Guidelines deliberative process. This report presents NCCN's initial thinking on the use of NCCN expert panel members in developing a process that can be used to compare health care technologies (e.g., radiation modalities, chemotherapy regimens) in a formal, systematic way. Draft considerations are provided to stimulate discussion and feedback, particularly in the oncology community, as NCCN moves through processes such as methodologic review, validation of rating scales, and review of implications for public policy, toward finalization of an NCCN CE analytic paradigm.

This report was developed in conjunction with a working group of NCCN physicians and outside experts.

The authors have disclosed that they have no financial interests, arrangements, or affiliations with the manufacturers of any products discussed in this article or their competitors; they are employees of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Correspondence: Edward C. Li, PharmD, BCOP, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 275 Commerce Drive, Suite 300, Fort Washington, PA 19034. E-mail: li@nccn.org
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