Public debate over high drug prices is one thing. But pushback from doctors is something else altogether. And when those doctors happen to be in charge at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, drugmakers might want to start worrying.
Pfizer said its targeted cancer drug Xalkori trounced chemotherapy in a trial of previously untreated patients with a particular type of lung cancer. The study showed for the first time that up-front treatment with Xalkori staves off cancer growth better than other treatments in patients whose tumors test positive for ALK-gene abnormalities.
U.K. patients will get the chance to use three new Big Pharma cancer treatments. Unless and until Britain's cost watchdogs decide to back them for regular National Health Service use, the drugs will be reimbursed from a special fund for cancer drugs.
Labels on shipments to a St. Louis, MO, suburb, arranged by two men from Turkey said they contained "gifts" and "documents." Instead, federal prosecutors and the FDA said the shipments were illegal, and sometimes counterfeit, cancer drugs being smuggled in from outside the U.S.
The feds have taken another drug dealer off the streets. This one sold more than $7 million worth of unapproved foreign cancer drugs from Turkey, Pakistan, India, and elsewhere to oncologists who were administering them to their patients.
Over their lifetimes, Baby Boomers have pumped product sales in one market after another, starting with diapers. Now, aging Boomers are set to influence another business altogether: cancer drugs.
Friday, the agency dubbed Arzerra a "breakthrough therapy," a coveted designation that puts the leukemia drug into the fast lane for first-line use. And today, the FDA put GSK's new melanoma duo, Tafinlar and Mekinist, on its priority review track as a combination cocktail.
Japanese regulators have cleared Bayer's cancer drug Stivarga for a new use, against gastrointestinal stromal tumors. It's just the latest victory for the fast-tracked drug, developed with U.S.-based Onyx Pharmaceuticals.
If good fences make good neighbors, then doctors' offices and pharma reps are getting more neighborly all the time. Some 45% of prescribers restrict sales reps' access these days, according to an annual report from ZS Associates.
Cancer drugs are hot. With new targeted therapies coming online--and immunotherapies the talk of this year's ASCO meeting--oncologists are getting new treatments for their tool chests, and drugmakers are adding lucrative products to their cash boxes.