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BioBlog ASCO Recap Edition

IP Blog | Dave Melin | June 7, 2017

BioBlog WeeklyThis special edition of the BioBlog outlines the issues, happenings and information relevant to this year’s ASCO Annual Meeting held June 1 – 5 in Chicago.

Cancer Drug Prices Could Double or Triple Thanks to This Popular but Unproven Drug Trend

This online article from MarketWatch outlines the “safety concerns and issues of price hang above the promising immuno-oncology combination trials”.

More Health Plans Are Eyeing Deals for Drugs Based on Patient Outcomes

In this article from Stat, we learn of an initiative in which “a health plan may get an extra discount from a drug maker if a medicine does not help patients as much as expected, or a drug maker may get a credit toward a rebate provided to a health plan”.

ASCO 2017: Pregnancy After Breast Cancer Does Not Increase Chance of Recurrence

ASCO post reports on the results of a study indicating, “women who became pregnant after an early breast cancer diagnosis, including those with estrogen receptor–positive tumors, did not have a higher chance of cancer recurrence and death than those who did not become pregnant”.

Global Study Sets New Risk-Based Standard to Personalise Chemotherapy for Colon Cancer After Surgery

After surgery for lymph-node positive colon cancer (stage III), some patients may only need half of the long-standing standard course of chemotherapy.

High-Price Drugs Raise Costs for Seniors in Medicare Part D

The Wall Street Journal reports that, “spending on Medicare’s drug program has soared, growing faster than all other areas of Medicare”.

2017: Abiraterone Delays Metastatic Prostate Cancer Growth by 18 Months, Extends Survival

Abiraterone stops production of testosterone throughout the body by blocking an enzyme that converts other hormones to testosterone.

CAR T-Cell Therapy Sends Multiple Myeloma Into Lasting Remission

ASCO Perspective
“While it’s still early, these data are a strong sign that CAR T-cell therapy can send multiple myeloma into remission,” said ASCO Expert Michael S. Sabel, MD, FACS. “It’s rare to see such high response rates, especially for a hard-to-treat cancer. This serves as proof that immunotherapy and precision medicine research pays off. We hope that future research builds on this success in multiple myeloma and other cancers.”

Anthem Pulling Out of ObamaCare Market in Ohio

The company cited uncertainty as a reason why it’s exiting the exchanges in all of the state’s counties, particularly the question of whether or not the Trump administration will continue payments to insurers that compensate them for reducing out-of-pocket costs for lower-income enrollees.

Senate Panel to Hold Hearing on Drug Prices

The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee stated, “The long-awaited hearing will focus on “the process of moving prescription drugs from the manufacturer to patients and how the drug deli system affects what patients pay when picking up their prescriptions.”

Publicly Funded Cancer Trials Gained Americans 3 Million More Years

HealthDay reports that, “SWOG, the clinical trials network funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), has involved more than 200,000 patient volunteers. These trials have led to approval of 14 new cancer drugs and more than 100 changes to cancer care standards”.

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