How To Get a Newly Approved Cancer Drug
You’ve likely seen news stories announcing new drug approvals and wondered: Will this drug benefit me? How can I get it?
The US FDA Drug Approval and CenterWatch websites track all newly approved drugs. They also provide information about the research studies that led to the drug’s approval. Once a drug is approved, your insurer will need to decide whether to include it in its formulary–the list of drugs it makes available to patients. If it’s not in its formulary, it will not be included in your drug co-pay or co-insurance benefits. There are some drugs that may be in the formulary but require your doctor to obtain prior authorization before your prescription can be filled.
If you read about a new trial, talk to your doctor to find out if the drug might be an option for you. That way, once it is approved, you can find out if it’s covered by your formulary or if it requires prior authorization. Also, keep in mind that some cancer drugs that are approved quickly may not show the same results in real-world settings.
- FDA US FDA Drug Approvals
- CenterWatch: FDA Approved Drugs
- National Public Radio: Your Drug Formulary: How It Works and What to Know
- JDRF.org: How to Obtain Prior Authorization
- National Public Radio: Cancer Drugs Approved Quickly Often Fail to Measure Up Later
Additional Metastatic Breast Cancer Resources
ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Provides phone-based one-to-one mentoring to those affected by breast cancer as well as a personalized mentor matching service for breast cancer patients, their families and friends.
American Cancer Society
Comprehensive cancer information.
Anne Appleseed Project
Information about natural cancer therapies from the patient perspective.
A message board and listserv for women with metastatic disease.
Comprehensive information about brain metastases from a patient perspective.
Comprehensive information about breast cancer detection and treatment.
A national toll-free hotline staffed by breast cancer survivors. Phone: 1.888.718.3523
Developed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Cancer.Net contains comprehensive and up-to-date information for all people affected by cancer. All content is approved by cancer doctors who are members of ASCO.
A comprehensive website offering free publications in English and Spanish as well as a series of support groups and educational seminars for employees with cancer, their employers, coworkers and healthcare providers.
CancerCare is a national nonprofit organization that provides free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer. It’s programs, including counseling, education, financial assistance and practical help, are provided by professional oncology social workers and are completely free of charge. CancerCare provided help to more than 108,500 people last year.
Cancer Information and Support Network
Patient information and support tailored to one’s situation. The site also contains a Breast Cancer 101 for those who want to learn more about the biology of cancer and how anti-cancer drugs work.
Cancer Support Community
Provides a network of professional programs of emotional support, education and hope for people affected by cancer at no charge so that no one faces cancer alone.
A user-friendly, multimedia women’s health information site created by Donnica L. Moore, MD.
Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation
Comprehensive information about breast cancer prevention, detection, and treatment.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Fosters innovative inflammatory breast cancer research, educates stakeholders, and advocates for both patients and survivors in order to improve the lives of those touched by inflammatory breast cancer.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer Network Foundation
Funds research regarding Inflammatory Breast Cancer and provides education to the general population as well as the medical community regarding Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer Support
Provides information and support for individuals with IBC.
Insider’s Guide to Metastatic Breast Cancer
Provides information about approved therapies in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia, as well as scientific studies, cutting edge research, clinical trials, and palliative care.
Lazarex Cancer Foundation
Provides financial assistance to patients traveling for participation in clinical trials.
Living Beyond Breast Cancer
Provides information and support for women affected by breast cancer.
Male Breast Cancer Coalition
Patient advocacy group for building awareness and providing education about male breast cancer.
Nonprofit organization that provides education and support for patients with metastatic breast cancer.
Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance
A coalition of nonprofit groups, advocates, individuals living with metastatic breast cancer, and industry partners committed to improving the quality of life for women and men living with metastatic breast cancer.
Metastatic Breast Cancer Network
Advocacy group for women with metastatic breast cancer.
The social network for women facing breast cancer.
National Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Home Page
Educational information about breast cancer.
Helps patients bring together their most important resources to assist them in their care.
Education and support for Latinas affected by cancer. The website is presented in both English and Spanish.
Patient Advocate Foundation
Helps patients with chronic, debilitating and life-threatening illnesses remove obstacles to healthcare such as medical debt, access to insurance, and job retention.
An online breast cancer support network for people affected by breast cancer.
Share Cancer Support
A national nonprofit that supports, educates, and empowers women affected by breast, ovarian, or metastatic breast cancer, with a special focus on medically underserved communities
Provides free support and educational programs to women and men nationwide; specializes in providing support to Jewish women and their families.
Women’s Cancer Resource Guide.
Story Half Told
An initiative by Pfizer in partnership with advocates, patients and healthcare professionals that aims to elevate public understanding of metastatic breast cancer (MBC), dispel misperceptions, combat stigma and expand the breast cancer conversation to be more inclusive of metastatic breast cancer.
Susan G. Komen
Features information about breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and support.
- Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Information Helpline
- Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer
- Treatment Assistance Program
- MBC Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Theresa’s Research Foundation
Funds research for Metastatic Breast Cancer treatment options and quality of life.
Provides free, comprehensive second opinions to adults in California diagnosed with cancer.
Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation
Provides discussion forums and educational programs for women with triple-negative tumors.
Triple Step Toward the Cure
Information, emotional support, and financial assistance for patients with Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
Young Survival Coalition
Information and support for young women with breast cancer.