Functionality Important Given Recent FDA Black Box Warnings for Currently Marketed Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 15 // -- OTN, a leading physician services company and one of the largest distributors of products and services to the community physician market, today announced that its Lynx(TM) Technology system includes a function that can help oncologists document patients' hemoglobin levels and adjust dosing of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). By maintaining optimal hemoglobin levels, physicians can help cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy avoid blood transfusions.
This functionality in the Lynx Technology system is critical given the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) March 9, 2007, public health advisory highlighting changes to the labels of the three marketed ESAs. The labels of these drugs now warn that ESAs increase the risk of death and serious cardiovascular events when administered to target a hemoglobin of greater than 12 g/dL. The boxed warning instructs physicians to use the lowest dose of an ESA that will gradually increase the hemoglobin concentration to the lowest level sufficient to avoid the need for red blood cell transfusion.
"Our Lynx Technology system provides community-based physicians with a wealth of benefits, including allowing them to ensure appropriate drug dosing and utilization, which helps to provide the best outcomes for patients," said John Amos, president and CEO of OTN. "Also, because our Lynx Technology platform was built to be flexible, we can continue to enhance it based on physician needs and changes in the healthcare environment."
The ability to document hemoglobin levels will become increasingly important as health plans and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandate the reporting of hemoglobin levels. The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 mandates CMS to require the reporting of hemoglobin levels starting January 1, 2008.
OTN, a One Equity Partners portfolio company, is a leading physician services company that provides a broad set of customized solutions, including technology, pharmaceuticals, supportive care products and medical/surgical supplies, to physicians who practice in the community-based treatment setting. Through its innovative Lynx(TM) Technologies, practice management tools and unsurpassed customer service, OTN helps physicians remain independent and improve practice efficiency while enabling them to focus on providing optimal patient care. Through its specialty pharmacy, OTN provides physicians and their patients with efficient delivery of medications to treat cancer, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, infertility and other chronic conditions requiring the latest intravenous, injectable and oral medicines. OTN's affiliated group purchasing organization (GPO), Onmark, offers its members competitive contracts for oncology drugs and medical/surgical supplies, practice management tools and educational programs. For more information, please visit myotn.com/
CONTACT: Stan Ades, +1-650-246-6622, or Stan.Ades@myotn.com
Web site: myotn.com/