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Drug Of The Week: Myeloma Treatments Are Too Expensive

posted by Alicia Caramenico

on May 18, 2016

They cost way too much – that’s the conclusion of a new report on multiple myeloma cancer treatments from Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). According to ICER, drugmakers should cut U.S. prices for newer multiple myeloma drugs by as much as 94 percent for them to be justifiable.

AHIP’s high-priced drugs report included six multiple myeloma treatments, three of which (Pomalyst, Farydak, Revlimid) were also part of ICER’s report.

This year roughly 30,330 Americans will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that develops in the bone marrow, according to a Reuters article. ICER acknowledges how important multiple myeloma treatments are for improving progression-free survival and quality of life for patients, but points out that drugmakers can’t justify their high cost. In fact, their list prices surpass nearly all cost-effectiveness thresholds.

As STAT reported recently, the ICER report should motivate all stakeholders to focus on ways to provide high-value, affordable coverage and care, such as value-based purchasing and innovative benefit designs.