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Category: Mem. Sloan-Kettering

Leonard Saltz, MD: The unsustainable cost of cancer drugs

Interviewed by Steven Greer, MD

Leonard Saltz, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, discusses how the targeted cancer drugs developed within the last 5 years (Avastin, Tarceva, Sutent, Nexavar, etc) are escalating the total cost burden per cancer patient to unsustainable levels.


Leonard Saltz, MD: Bending the cancer cost curve: is it naive or feasible?

We previously interviewed NEJM author Tom Smith, MD, about is recommendations for lowering spending on cancer therapies. We then visited Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to speak with well-known critic of expensive cancer drugs: Leonard Saltz, MD.

In Part 1, he gives his opinion on how feasible it will be to reduce the number of unnecessary CT scans and other tests that monitor tumor load and recurrences. He also discuss the merits of using only sequential monotherapy rather than cocktail therapy.

Interviewed by  Steven Greer, MD

(Viewable in full-screen 1080i HD)

In Part 2, we discuss the practicality of limiting chemotherapy to those patients well enough to show a benefit. Currently, very frail end-of-life patients continue to receive chemotherapy even though it harms quality of life.

In Part 3, we discuss the proposal to reduce the usage of hematopoietic colony-stimulating factors (CSFs), such as Amgen’s Neulasta and Neupogen

In Part 4, we discuss broader policy issues.

Leonard Saltz, MD: The unsustainable cost of cancer drugs

Dr. Leonard Saltz of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center discusses the magnitude of the growing costs for the new targeted cancer drugs. He gives his opinion how this has developed and puts it in perspective.

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