Oncologists from the United States increasingly refuse to prescribe expensive medicine such as Cyramza and Stivarga, two drugs which doctors disagree deserve their price.
Colon cancer medication such as Cyramza, produced by Eli Lilly & Co, and Stivarga, produced by Bayer AG, are just two of the many drugs that cost more than $100,000 a year. However, top US oncologists tend to ignore these two drugs, considering their costs and their questionable effect.
Analysts say that if oncologists decide that a drug’s cost is that important in their prescribing habits, their decisions may have a great negative effect on multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies all across the world.
Currently, the costs of worldwide cancer treatment surpassed $100 billion. Those numbers are from 2014, however, official reports show that the number is increasing year after year with more than 10%.
Healthcare experts are not impressed by the new pharmaceutical companies that try to steal the top shelf market share from established products.
Most oncologists agree that the number of drugs that do not make any sense is increasing, and that they are fighting to keep the situation under control. Given their questionable benefits and their price, it is more than likely for doctors to ignore a lot of these new products that appear on the market.
Currently, there are cancer medicines on the market that help patients live a couple of weeks more than they would without treatment. These treatments cost up to $10,000 per month, and besides their benefits, they also come with substantial toxicity.
However, some doctors say that those few more weeks of life could be worth the price for many patients, even if they will also induce some side effects. But for the majority, these potential benefits simply won’t do.
Cyramza was approved back in 2014 on the United States market by healthcare regulators. The drug, combined with chemotherapy, is used in the treatment of colon cancer. It is similar to Roche Holding AG’s Avastin. The only difference is that Cyramza costs twice as much as Avastin, the drug produced by Roche Holding AG.
The vast majority of the doctors are still recommending patients to use Avastin instead of Cyramzo, and they personally do not known any colleagues that recommends Cyramza. However, they still believe that the drug is overused, considering its ridiculous price.
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