Real-World Evidence from McKesson Supports First-Ever FDA Approval for Metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma Drug

May 16, 2018

Study Wins the 2018 Clinical and Research Excellence (CARE) Award for Best in Health Economics and Outcomes

The Woodlands, Texas (May 16, 2018) — A powerful, real-world evidence study designed by McKesson Specialty Health for its biopharma partner played a key role in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval for first-line indication for a rare disease. Recently “Merkel Cell Carcinoma Observational Study for Historic Comparison” received the 2018 Clinical and Research Excellence (CARE) Award for Best in Health Economics and Outcomes Research, recognizing how data research supports true innovation in oncology care.

The award acknowledges excellence in health economics and outcomes research (HEOR), a strategic focus for the company, and was announced at an award ceremony with organizers Pharma Intelligence, biopharma companies, researchers, and providers last month in Boston.

Clinical trial data has historically been the way to earn first-line approvals of drugs by the FDA. With the growth of big data and advanced systems like electronic health records (EHRs), McKesson strategically supports advancing specialty pharmaceutical development. The success of this study highlights how real-world evidence from EHRs empowers biopharma companies to innovate, bringing new therapies and treatment options to providers and patients. The study leveraged iKnowMed℠, McKesson’s award-winning EHR that combines analytics expertise and physicians’ knowledge for accelerating cancer treatments. Numerous HEOR studies are currently being conducted by McKesson and are expected to lead to other oncology breakthroughs.

“Real-world evidence is increasingly being leveraged to support FDA approvals, enabling more therapy options to advance and optimize cancer care,” said Nicholas Robert, M.D., Medical Director, Health Economic and Outcomes Research/Health Informatics, McKesson Specialty Health and The US Oncology Network. “This award underscores the important role real-world evidence plays in improving patient outcomes by providing supporting data to clinical trial results.”

In February 2018, iKnowMed Generation 2 was recognized by Black Book Research as the top EHR for oncology and hematology for patient health data management and administrative processing, interoperability, communications, connectivity, results review/management, and decision support. It achieved the top score in 10 of the 18 EHR performance categories.

For more detailed information on how real-world evidence led to a first-line FDA approval for the Metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma Drug read the white paper

About McKesson Specialty Health

McKesson Specialty Health (“MSH”), a division of McKesson Corporation, works together with stakeholders across the healthcare delivery system to preserve and strengthen specialty care, passionately driven by the benefits it provides patients and the system as a whole. Through innovative provider, practice management, manufacturer and payer solutions, MSH focuses on improving the financial, operational and business health of our customers and partners so they may provide the best care to patients. At McKesson Specialty Health, we believe that we are all in this together. For more information, visit

About The US Oncology Network

Every day, The US Oncology Network (“The Network”) helps more than 1,400 independent physicians deliver value-based, integrated care for patients—close to home. Through The Network, these independent doctors come together to form a community of shared expertise and resources dedicated to advancing local cancer care and to delivering better patient outcomes. The Network provides doctors with access to coordinated resources, best business practices, and the experience, infrastructure and support of McKesson Specialty Health. This collaboration allows the doctors in The Network to focus on the health of their patients, while McKesson focuses on the health of their practices. Together, The Network and its affiliated physicians are committed to the success of independent practices, everywhere. For more information, visit

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