Cancer Supportive Care Spotlight
This week in health care trends, our cancer supportive care spotlight includes the link — or lack thereof — between survival and drug prices and a hard look at the pharmaceuticalization of end-of-life care.
The articles below are from our dedicated Cancer Supportive Care e-magazine. We’re constantly adding valuable content to this updateable magazine, so make sure to check our e-magazine frequently for new intelligence. You can follow us on Flipboard or Twitter, or just watch for the links to this and our other magazines in our regular weekly BioBlog emails. (Don’t get our emails yet? Subscribe here!)
A new study published in JAMA Oncology has found that “The pricing of oncology drugs is not necessarily based on their novelty or effectiveness.” Instead, according to the study, “There was no significant difference in the price of drugs approved on the basis of OS [Overall Survival] or PFS [progressive or disease free survival].”
Supportive and Palliative Care Research
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) page on palliative care research gives a solid overview of how the research works. In addition, at the bottom of the page are links to active palliative and supportive care grants as well as other resources on supportive care.
In a recent study that examined the “trend towards increasingly aggressive pharmacological treatment of patients with advanced, incurable cancer,” the author concluded “there is… evidence of inappropriate and overly aggressive use of drugs.” The study also noted that “although an increasing number of patients with advanced disease receive drug treatment, this treatment may not match their subjective expectations or informed preferences and that, irrespective of patient preferences, aggressive chemotherapeutic treatment towards the end-of-life is associated with poorer quality of life and death, shorter survival, regret, and in some cases severe financial hardship.”
The Philadelphia-based nonprofit American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is setting an audacious goal: it aims to quadruple its budget to $25 million in five years in order to fill the gap and support cancer research that is being lost to government cutbacks. According to chief executive Margaret Foti, “”There’s an enormous concern that we’re losing the best minds in cancer research, and in medical research in general, to other fields, when they could be helping to save more lives from cancer and other diseases.”