ASCO set to compare value of cancer drugs

July 2, 2015

The American Society of Clinical Oncology is asking for comments on its ASCO Value Framework, which compares the value of new cancer therapies with established treatments.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is asking for comments on its ASCO Value Framework, which compares the value of new cancer therapies with established treatments.

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“Developed by the ASCO Value in Cancer Care Task Force, the framework will ultimately serve as the basis for user-friendly, standardized tools that physicians can use with their patients to discuss the relative value of new cancer therapies as compared with established treatments,” ASCO said in a statement on its web site.

The initial version of the Framework was published on June 22, 2015 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The Framework is needed because, in many communities, the high costs associated with cancer care have created a difficult situation for patients and the oncologists who care for them, according to the JCO article. “Addressing this situation will require greater understanding of all the risks and benefits of various treatment options, as well as the consequences of specific choices,” ASCO said. “Studies have shown that patients specifically want financial information about treatment alternatives. along with information about medical effectiveness and treatment toxicity. However, they often do not receive it.”

One of the comparisons provided in the Framework is the clinical benefit, toxicity, net health benefit (NHB), and cost of bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone, compared to melphalan plus prednisone (control) in clinical trial for first-line treatment of advanced multiple myeloma.

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ASCO found that bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone has overall survival (OS) of 56.4 months versus 43.1-month OS for melphalan plus prednisone (control), an NHB of 47 of maximum 130 and a cost of $7,042.70 per month versus $279.45 per month for control.

ASCO is asking for comments on the initial Value Framework through August 21, 2015, via its online survey.

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