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}


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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.

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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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