Medication Acquisition Programs Can Improve Access to Treatment


Research has shown these programs can increase the number of patients who can access targeted treatments.

City of Hope has created a medication acquisition program (MAP) to help patients facing barriers receive appropriately targeted, personalized therapy and immunotherapy, according to authors who published an abstract highlighting their research ahead of the 2023 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois.

Credit: Prostock-studio -

Credit: Prostock-studio -

With the oversight of 1 oncology certified nurse, the MAP program demonstrated a 99% success rate in helping patients access appropriate therapies, which was made possible via appeals to payers or patient assistance programs. In addition, 34% of patients experienced clinical benefits—defined as treatment duration of 4 months or longer—directly from interventions established through the MAP program.

“[MAP] has provided our patients access to targeted treatments that would have otherwise not been available, while enhancing our center’s ability to offer innovative options to patients who have exhausted standard of care (SoC) options,” study authors wrote in the abstract.

Genomic testing is becoming increasingly common when identifying candidates for clinical trialsstudying new innovations in precision medicine, but patients may not always qualify for thesetrials. Clinical, financial, and administrative challenges can prevent patients from accessing these targeted treatments that could provide significant benefit, with known barriers including:

  • clinical trials are no longer available,
  • copay is too expensive for patients with government-provided insurance,
  • insurance policy excludes treatment, and
  • Insurance plan denies coverage of off-label or on-label indications.

Investigators conducted a retrospective clinical study to understand how the program improves access to targeted therapies, and associated clinical outcomes of these therapies. The teamreviewed data on patients who accessed targeted treatments, were indicated for SoC for another tumor type, or were denied access for their on-label indication.

The MAP program received 1041 referrals between October 2015 and December 2021, and 769 patients started treatments. Among treated patients, 66% received 3 months or less of therapy, 16% received 4 to 6 months of therapy, 8% received 7 to 10 months of therapy, and 10% received 11 months or more of targeted treatment. In total, 34% of patients experienced clinical benefit of at least 4 months of therapy.

Among patients who started treatment through the MAP program, 44% went on to progress and needed more treatment, while 68% were then able to receive additional treatment and continue the regimen at the cancer center.


Doctor V, Schink J, Moran A, Gandra N, Markman M. Medication Acquisition Program – Successful Access to Innovative Treatment Options. Presented at: American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting; June 2 - June 6, 2023; Chicago, IL.

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