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Robert W. Carlson

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Robert W. Carlson

The uses and distribution of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) continue to increase dramatically, with more than 3 million downloads from the NCCN Web site in 2010 alone. More than 230,000 individuals in 194 countries are registered users of the NCCN Web site. Some of the major drivers of this increase in use are the expertise of the panel members, the high quality and transparency of the NCCN Guidelines development process, the associated drug compendium, and the free availability of the guidelines. The quality and availability of the NCCN Guidelines have made them the major reference for cancer care professionals in guiding the actual care of patients with cancer in the United States. Studies have shown that concordance with guideline recommendations improves the quality and lowers the cost of cancer care. The impact of the NCCN Guidelines recommendations for anticancer therapy on the market is substantial because of physician choice, patient request, and payor coverage decisions. The diagnostic, device, and pharmaceutical industries often quote the NCCN Guidelines in marketing materials as they attempt to increase sales of their products. When done accurately, this should ideally improve the appropriateness and quality of provided care. There is substantial risk, however, that the guidelines will be used in misleading or incomplete ways in marketing efforts. Recently, a diagnostic company misrepresented a recommendation from the NCCN Guidelines for Breast Cancer in a letter to physicians, on the company Web site, and, reportedly, verbally through its sales staff to physicians. These...
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Robert W. Carlson

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Robert W. Carlson

In his Keynote Address at the NCCN 20th Annual Conference, Robert W. Carlson, MD, reflected on the achievements of NCCN and described how the organization will continue to grow under his leadership. Recognizing that the founding of NCCN was by a group of visionary leaders who came together 20 years ago to assure access of patients to high-quality cancer care, Dr. Carlson said “All our efforts within NCCN are focused on improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of patient care, so that our patients can live better lives.”

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Robert W. Carlson

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Robert W. Carlson