Cancer Care, Cost and Treatment News and More
This week’s BioBlog focuses on cancer care. There is a hidden costs of cancer care that affects small business owners who must often take time away from their businesses while they receive treatment. Cancer clinical trials often include the sickest patients, yet for these patients, it may be their last, best hope for a cure. And some patients are being denied treatment or die waiting for treatment because of the prohibitive cost and slowness of the insurer to reimbursement codes. These and other updates from the world of healthcare, oncology, and biopharma are in this week’s Innovation Partners BioBlog.
There’s a hidden cost to cancer care treatment, especially for small business owners. Many small business owners cannot work during their treatment. Who, then, takes care of their business? An oncologist discusses the hidden costs and ramifications of cancer treatment on the ‘backbone’ of American business: small business owners.
Participants applying to cancer clinical trials are usually the sickest, most desperate patients. For many patients, clinical trials offer their last hope for treatment. But some are turned away. A look at the debate over the eligibility guidelines for many clinical trials. Are we excluding too many from their last hope of a cure?
Although two months have passed since Gilead Science’s breakthrough treatment was approved in the United States to tread blood cancer, only a small handful of patients have received treatment. Costs of the new therapy are a big obstacle for many patients and insurers. The treatment costs $373,000, and there are currently 200 people on the waiting list for it, with many on hold due to cost constraints. Many are waiting because Medicaid and Medicare do not yet have billing codes for the treatment, the method by which the treatment is paid for from these insurance programs.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) spread millions among politicians and lobbyists during election year. New filings show that $271 million was collected in 2016, the last presidential election year, with money then spread through ad campaigns, political groups and others.
Dr. Howard “Skip” Burris III was elected ASCO President for the 2019-2020 term. Dr. Burris is president of clinical operations and chief medical officer for Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare. He practices oncology as part of Tennessee Oncology, PLLC. Dr. Burris has been an active member of ASCO since 1991 and has served on numerous committees and the Board of Directors.
Loxo Oncology Initiates Rolling Submission of New Drug Application to U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Larotrectinib for the Treatment of TRK Fusion Cancers
Loxo Oncology, Inc. has initiated submission of a rolling New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S.Food and Drug Administration for larotrectinib. Larotrectinib is used for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic solid tumors with NTRK-fusion proteins in adult and pediatric patients. These patients require systemic therapy and have either progressed following prior treatment or have no acceptable alternative treatments. Loxo is a biopharmaceutical company known for its innovations in the field of highly selective medications for the treatment of genetically-defined cancers.
Institute for Clinical and Economic Review Releases Draft Evidence Report on CAR-T Therapy for B-cell Cancers
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review(ICER) today released a Draft Evidence Report assessing the comparative clinical effectiveness and value of tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah, Novartis) and axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta, Kite Pharma/Gilead). The draft report, along with draft voting questions, will be open to public comment for four weeks. The report and any findings are subject to change based on comments and further analysis of the evidence. Both drugs were approved earlier this year as curative for certain forms of cancer.
2018 is going to be an important year in the pharmaceutical industry. Many companies face aging for profitable products, with dwindling pipelines of new products. A look at how 2018 may shape up for the industry.