Thursday, July 2, 2009

Researchers Question Cost-Effectiveness Of Cancer Drugs

"The widespread use of expensive cancer drugs to prolong patients’ lives by just
weeks or months was called into question by an article published Monday in the
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Crunching data from published
studies, the authors found that treating a lung-cancer patient with Erbitux, a
drug that costs $80,000 for an 18-week regimen, prolongs survival by only
1.2 months. Based on that estimate, extending the lives of the 550,000
Americans who die of cancer annually by one year would then cost $440 billion,
they extrapolated. How to control escalating spending on end-of-life care is one
of the thorniest questions facing lawmakers working on the overhaul of the U.S.
health-care system. Some countries, like the United Kingdom, agree to pay
for expensive drugs only if they meet a certain threshold of efficacy, but no
such rationing exists in the U.S."
"June 29 (Bloomberg) -- Eli Lilly & Co.’s tumor-fighter Erbitux doesn’t prolong lung cancer patients’ lives enough to justify its $80,000 cost, U.S. scientists said in commentary published today. Erbitux added to other cancer drugs extends survival about 1.2 months more than chemotherapy alone, making the price too high for a “marginal benefit,” commentary in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute said. Erbitux, which Lilly markets with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., generated $1.3 billion last year as treatment approved for other malignancies."
{Click on links (titles) for more information.}
{Thanks to Lynne Nakashima of the BC Cancer Agency for the above links}


Navigating The Waters Of This Website/Blog

Replica Slave Ship The Zong Sails Up The Thames

My introductory post {Click here} last month highlighted what I'd like this website to evolve into.

This post will highlight some of the ways to get the most use out of the website/blog.

  • The "search" feature (located in the upper right-hand portion of the main page) allows you to search the website's contents, as well as the ability to search the web.
  • Articles are posted to the blog chronologically, with most recent displaying first.
  • You can search the archives of the blog (heading on the left about half way down), which are sorted again by date.
  • You can also search the site by "Labels" which is another heading on the left hand side. "Labels" are basically topics/subjects that I will assign to each post.
  • There are also oncology and pharmacy related "real-time" updates from OncologySTAT and Medscape, on the right-hand side of the website and some towards the bottom as well.
  • There is a link to my online bookmarks (located on the menu bar under the front page heading) via the "delicious" website, which feature useful websites that are pharmacy, oncology and pain & symptom control related (Click on "Favourites" on the Right hand side of that web site to get most commonly used bookmarks).
  • Also featured on the menu bar is the continuing education main link, and a link to the Onco-PRN online message board. On this separate web site there are various subjects to facilitate discussions and ask questions to other readers.
  • Finally, I have a "blog list", on the right-hand side as well, which features some blogs related to our field.

Again, I also recommend you sign up as a "Follower" by clicking on the relevant link on the left side. The process is easy and you can even use an existing google or yahoo account, amongst others. This will help establish a network of oncology pharmacists (or others with an interest in this area).

Please post comments below (or email me at ) for suggestions on information or links you would like to share or for me to post, or comments in general.

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About Onco-PRN

Welcome and thanks for visiting Onco-P.R.N. - The oncology website with a focus on all things oncology pharmacy/pain/palliative care-related. It is intended to be an information resource for those pharmacist and relevant health care professionals involved in whatever fashion with cancer and palliative care. Stay tuned for the latest and greatest links and information with respect to: oncology medications, continuing education, pharmaceutical care initiatives, pain and symptom control, supportive care topics, and whatever else that might fit into the theme.

*Note: This website is not affiliated with Alberta Health Services (AHS) or CAPhO and the opinions expressed herewithin are that of the author(s).

Pharmacy History

"The earliest known compilation of medicinal substances was ARIANA the Sushruta Samhita, an Indian Ayurvedic treatise attributed to Sushruta in the 6th century BC. However, the earliest text as preserved dates to the 3rd or 4th century AD.
Many Sumerian (late 6th millennium BC - early 2nd millennium BC) cuneiform clay tablets record prescriptions for medicine.[3]

Ancient Egyptian pharmacological knowledge was recorded in various papyri such as the Ebers Papyrus of 1550 BC, and the Edwin Smith Papyrus of the 16th century BC.

The earliest known Chinese manual on materia medica is the Shennong Bencao Jing (The Divine Farmer's Herb-Root Classic), dating back to the 1st century AD. It was compiled during the Han dynasty and was attributed to the mythical Shennong. Earlier literature included lists of prescriptions for specific ailments, exemplified by a manuscript "Recipes for 52 Ailments", found in the Mawangdui tomb, sealed in 168 BC. Further details on Chinese pharmacy can be found in the Pharmacy in China article."

From Wikipedia:

Journal of Palliative Medicine - Table of Contents

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