Are pricey cancer drugs worth the cost? ASCO means to find out

ASCO Chief Medical Officer Richard Schilsky

Public debate over high drug prices is one thing. The sound and fury may never translate into actual change. 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.

ASCO has launched an effort to rate cancer drugs not only on their benefits and side effects, but prices as well. As Chief Medical Officer Richard Schilsky told BioCentury, the powerful professional society decided to grade treatments because prices are disconnected from the actual therapeutic value of products.

The price of cancer drugs is becoming unsustainable, Schilsky explained on BioCentury's TV program BioCentury This Week. In many cases, their benefits don't match up to their costs. ASCO would like oncologists to consult its scorecard and decide on treatments accordingly.

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