publication date: Feb. 13, 2015

Tufts Researchers Say Blood Cancer Drugs Are a Good Value; Kantarjian Disagrees


Even at high cost, blood cancer drugs provide a good value, an analysis by Tufts Medical Center researchers found.

In a paper published online by the American Society of Hematology journal Blood, the Tufts team presents data from a meta-analysis to argue that, even considering their cost of $100,000 or more a year, targeted therapies, as they translate into years and quality of life gained, may justify the prices.

“Given the increased discussion about the high cost of these treatments, we were somewhat surprised to discover that their cost-effectiveness ratios were lower than expected,” Peter Neumann, director of the Center for Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health at Tufts and the senior author of the study, said in a statement. “Our analysis had a small sample size and included both industry- and non-industry-funded studies. In addition, cost-effectiveness ratios may have changed over time, as associated costs or benefits have changed. However, the study underscores that debates in health care should consider the value of breakthrough drugs and not just costs.”

In April 2013, Blood published an editorial by a group of more than 100 experts in chronic myeloid leukemia, who sought to draw attention to the high prices of cancer drugs, with the particular focus on the prices of approved tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the treatment of CML.

“Grateful patients may have become the ‘financial victims’ of the treatment success, having to pay the high price annually to stay alive,” that paper reads. A conversation with Hagop Kantarjian, the corresponding author on that paper and chairman of the Department of … Continue reading 41-06 Tufts Researchers Say Blood Cancer Drugs Are a Good Value; Kantarjian Disagrees

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