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Economic and Clinical Value: The Future of Cancer Care
During the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting earlier this year, a leading pharmaceutical company announced positive results for one of its drugs. For the first time in 10 years, a drug used to battle a recurrent cancer had been found to prolong life, in this case by more than a month. However, by the conference’s conclusion, news media reports focused on its cost.
Many evidence-based treatment options with similar outcomes have vastly different financial implications. Two years ago, Memorial Sloan Kettering refused to include a new, more expensive cancer drug on its formulary, saying it was no more effective than a less expensive drug currently in use. “When choosing treatments for a patient, we have to consider the financial strains,” wrote three of the hospital’s physicians in a New York Times op-ed.
In another example, the six-month cost for first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) and gastric cancer varies widely despite the clinical effectiveness being similar. (Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network 2012;10:1037-1042).Read More
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