Breast cancer awareness also includes who’s paying for campaigns

“Breast cancer awareness also includes who’s paying for campaigns” by Sharon Batt, Toronto Star.

Drug access campaigns have wide emotional appeal but they also reflect a genuine desire by patients with life-threatening diagnoses for a magic bullet. Fewer than 1-in-10 new drugs, however, provide therapeutic advantage over existing drugs.

A new campaign that caught my . . . → Read More: Breast cancer awareness also includes who’s paying for campaigns

A Brief History of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM): The month of October, designated to be an observed commemorative month to raise awareness of breast cancer. Established in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries (now part of AstraZeneca, a leading manufacturer of oncology drugs).

See . . . → Read More: A Brief History of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Right to Try laws allow Big Pharma to exploit patients' hope

“Right to Try laws allow Big Pharma to exploit patients’ hope,” Diana Zuckerman, Chicago Tribune.

If you were dying of a terminal illness and your doctor said there were no proven treatments, would you take the risk of trying an experimental, unproven drug? Many patients would say yes. But as with most medical decisions, the . . . → Read More: Right to Try laws allow Big Pharma to exploit patients’ hope

Research Brief: Quality of Life, Overall Survival, and Costs of Cancer Drugs Approved Based on Surrogate Endpoints

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has increasingly used an accelerated pathway to speed up the conditional approval of drugs that treat serious medical conditions and fill an unmet need. Provisional approval hinges upon two major factors: (1) surrogate endpoints (i.e., markers of effectiveness such as a decrease . . . → Read More: Research Brief: Quality of Life, Overall Survival, and Costs of Cancer Drugs Approved Based on Surrogate Endpoints

The 21st Century Cures Act

In May 2015, the “21st Century Cures Act” was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives with the goal of promoting the development and speeding the approval of new drugs and devices. Championed by the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and device industries, some of its provisions could have a significant impact on clinical trial design, what is . . . → Read More: The 21st Century Cures Act

Drug Prices Soar, Prompting Calls for Justification

“Drug Prices Soar, Prompting Calls for Justification,” by Andrew Pollack, The New York Times.

Prices for cancer drugs, some of which extend lives by only a couple of months, routinely exceed $100,000 a year, and some new ones exceed $150,000. And it is not unusual for the list prices of existing drugs to rise 10 . . . → Read More: Drug Prices Soar, Prompting Calls for Justification

Pharmascolds Are Not Worse Than The Pervasive Conflicts Of Interest They Criticize

“Pharmascolds Are Not Worse Than The Pervasive Conflicts Of Interest They Criticize,” by Larry Huston, Forbes.

Let’s start with a quick poll:

Which is worse?

A. The pervasive influence of industry on medicine, which has undermined the independence and altruism of physicians. B. The critics of industry influence, who have created a paranoid culture . . . → Read More: Pharmascolds are not worse than the pervasive conflicts of interest, they criticize

Research Brief. Five Years of Cancer Drug Approvals: Pricing Models Reflect What the Market Will Bear

New findings reported in JAMA Oncology find that “current pricing models are not rational but simply reflect what the market will bear.”

A new study published in JAMA Oncology investigated the pricing of new cancer drugs to determine what impacts the drug’s cost most: (1) a relative health benefit such as a very . . . → Read More: Five Years of Cancer Drug Approvals: Pricing Models Reflect What the Market Will Bear

Marketing to Doctors

“Marketing to Doctors,” John Oliver, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

This eye-opening video reveals how pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars every year marketing drugs to you and your doctors.

A study in 2013 found that 9 out of 10 of the top ten drug manufacturers spent more on marketing than they did . . . → Read More: Marketing to Doctors

Why Drugs Cost So Much

“Why Drugs Cost So Much,” Peter Bach, The New York Times.

ELI LILLY charges more than $13,000 a month for Cyramza, the newest drug to treat stomach cancer. The latest medicine for lung cancer, Novartis’s Zykadia, costs almost $14,000 a month. Amgen’s Blincyto, for leukemia, will cost $64,000 a month. Cyramza costs the average . . . → Read More: Why Drugs Cost So Much

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