The Future Is Now in Oncology

Specialty Pharmacy Times, May/June 2015, Volume 6, Issue 3

In the 5 years since Specialty Pharmacy Times began publishing this special oncology-themed edition, the oncology landscape has experienced a tectonic shift. Specialty pharmacists in the cancer care market have seen new medications, new models of care delivery, and new targeted therapies that have brought significant hope to millions of afflicted patients and their families.

The annual oncology trends report recently released by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, Developments in Cancer Treatments, Market Dynamics, Patient Access and Value, noted that the 5-year relative survival rate across all major types of cancer is rising as a result of existing cancer treatments. Furthermore, total global spending on these medications soared passed the $100-billion mark in 2014, as the global market for oncology drugs increased 10.3% from $75 billion 5 years ago.

The Specialty Pharmacy Times audience follows our coverage in print, online, in e-newsletters, and on mobile devices, and is aware of the dramatic shifts specific to the world of oncology practice. Our sister publications OncLive (, CURE® (, and our other oncology-focused publications continue to bring cutting-edge commentaries and news from the physician side of this fast-paced environment.

As noted in the IMS report, a robust oncology pipeline of new drugs and combination therapies promises even more rapid innovation with significant patient benefits. This pipeline is expected to increase competition over the next 5 years, with multiple products across multiple classes competing among oncologists and patients. These new therapeutic classes and combination therapies are expected to cause further change to the cancer landscape over the next several years.

Significant hope exists in new “immuno-oncologics,” which have shown improved survival rates with lower toxicity for some patients. Some combination therapies that address multiple tumor pathways add to the potential for substantial increases in survival. As the future of oncology therapy begins to arrive, specialty pharmacists in this space will need to be laser-focused on the latest developments in this rapidly evolving field.

In our fifth anniversary oncology issue, we offer real-world scenarios and insights from specialty pharmacist oncology leaders who are directly involved in innovations and developing trends to achieve the best possible results for cancer patients. I invite you to read our cover story from Nobel Prize-winning physicist Gerd Binnig, PhD, who examines the future of big data and the specialty oncology pharmacist. The rest of the issue offers valuable insights from experts throughout specialty pharmacy regarding their innovative approach to evolve with these rapidly changing times. We invite you to learn from their experiences and the far-reaching overview of the oncology landscape that they provide. SPT

Thank you for reading!

Mike Hennessy

Chairman and CEO