Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/1/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Costly drug Herceptin successfully lessens cancer risk at a $70,000 price tag

According to a final analysis of the Phase III HERA trial, pharmaceutical company Roche and the Breast International Group, patients in early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer should remain on Herceptin treatment for one year, and not two years or six months. The drug has been found to be tremendously beneficial - but at a very high cost, that puts it out of reach for many.

A full one-year course of Herceptin treatment costs a whopping $70,000. According to various media sources, Genentech has never explained why the drug is so expensive.

A full one-year course of Herceptin treatment costs a whopping $70,000. According to various media sources, Genentech has never explained why the drug is so expensive.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/1/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Breast cancer, Herceptin, cost, socialized medicine


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A breast cancer blockbuster medication, Herceptin had sales last year of $5.5 billion. Approximately one quarter of patients with breast cancer tumors which generate HER2, a protein which makes the disease much more aggressive and are treated with Herceptin.

The latest data from the Phase III HERA trial demonstrated that two years of treatment on Herceptin made no difference to patients' disease-free survival times, which is how long women recovered without the cancer being regenerated.

Followed up for an average of eight years, the trial showed that disease-free survival improvements and overall survival for those on Herceptin was statistically significant than those without. Roche added that "there were no safety findings in the trial."

"Herceptin has changed the lives of many people with HER2-positive early breast cancer by increasing their chance of cure. HERA is one of the largest and longest-running breast cancer trials and demonstrates our commitment to people with this aggressive disease," Hal Barron, M.D., Roche's Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development, said.

"These results answer an important question and support current medical practice, where Herceptin treatment for one year is recommended and approved for people with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer."

Dr. Martine Piccart, Chair of Breast International Group, added "It's essential that our clinical trials help us understand just how long patients need to receive a particular treatment. These results give us both the evidence and the reassurance that it's not necessary to give patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer Herceptin for more than one year."

A full one-year course of Herceptin treatment costs a whopping $70,000. According to various media sources, Genentech has never explained why the drug is so expensive.

Australia has managed to knock the price down to $50,000. Several countries with universal health care, including the U.K., have had problems regarding price and including full Herceptin usage for breast cancer patients. In the U.K., the National Health Service pays for cancer medication -- patients get them free if they have been approved for payment by NICE, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. If not, the patient has to pay.

Cancer patients and advocacy groups from Ontario, Canada, eventually managed, after going to the highest levels in the courts, to get the Ontario Ministry of Health in July 2005 to agree to pay for Herceptin treatment.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Health

5 Super Simple Ways to help Age Proof your Eyes and Vision Watch

Image of Protect your eyes as they are very precious.

By Wendy RN., BA, MBA

Everyone wants to have good eyesight well into their later years. Here are 5 super easy ways to help protect your eyes and your vision. LOS ANGELES, CA - (Rise Above Health) Your eyes are an important part of your health. To make sure your eyes are healthy and you ... continue reading


Drink your coffee with confidence - daily java proven to prevent liver cancer Watch

Image of Coffee seems to protect people from liver cancer, which killed 746,000 people around the world in 2012.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are many reasons to watch you alcoholic beverage intake. Researchers say more than three alcoholic drinks a day increases your risk for this highly deadly version of the disease. The good news: It appears that the consumption of coffee, rich in ... continue reading


New biomarker detects body reaction to chemotherapy improving cancer treatment Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A reason many patients lose their chance of surviving ovarian cancer is because they are opting out of chemotherapy. With a recent discovery, researchers are hoping this new biomarker will help patients with high-grade serious ovarian cancer (HGSC) and thus, make ... continue reading


Are you washing your hair wrong? How to get hair salon results at home Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Do you feel like you have bad hair almost everyday, but after you go to a salon, it feels like it has transformed into something completely different: silky and soft. Hairdressers have no magic tricks, but they have tips they've learned from training. You may actually ... continue reading


World's oldest evidence of breast cancer found in 4,200-year-old Egyptian skeleton Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While one of the leading causes of death, cancer is virtually absent in archaeological records of ancient man. The notion that modern lifestyles, people living longer and man-made chemicals being responsible for the disease has been accepted as a given by many. ... continue reading


5 Most Important Foods for Beautiful Healthy Hair Watch

Image of When it comes to healthy hair, it's not just what you put on your hair that counts it is your diet that matters most!

By Wendy RN., BA, MBA

Who doesn't want a gorgeous, glossy mane of beautiful, bouncy, shiny healthy hair. The secret is more about what we eat, than all the expensive products that we put on our hair.  LOS ANGELES, CA - (Rise Above Health), Regardless of the type of hair you have, the ... continue reading


Doctors say daily dose of cereal is good for you! Here's why Watch

Image of The findings, published in the journal BMC Medicine, suggest that the cereal fiber component of whole grains accounts for the actions of the whole grains, and that cereal fiber-rich whole grain foods may have health benefits.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Most people start their day with a bowl of cereal, porridge or oatmeal - and it is actually good for you! Doctors say that a diet high in grain cuts the risk for both cancer and diabetes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Starting the day this way can add years ... continue reading


Once-a-day tablet said to 'turn off cancer' Watch

Image of One of only a handful of new medicines to be made available via the Cancer Drugs Fund, two trials in 28 British hospitals found Ibrutinib to be extremely effective in treating both mantle cell lymphoma, or MCL and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ibrutinib, hailed as a revolutionary drug capable of "switching off" cancer may soon be offered to patients with some forms of the disease. The once-a-day tablet could spare blood cancer patients the sometimes-agonizing side effects of chemotherapy. LOS ... continue reading


Is your child on the wrong path? Childhood inactivity could lead to becoming 'middle-aged couch potatoes' Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Inactive children are more likely to grow up and become middle-aged couch potatoes, as reported by BBC News. The findings, in a study from University College London, were children at age 10, who spent most of their time watching television shows are 42 percent more ... continue reading


Drinking diet soda may actually increase belly fat: New study dissects the link between artificial sweeteners and your waistline Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New studies show consumption of diet soda leads to belly fat. The presence of belly fat may be what medical studies has been missing in the analysis between artificial sweeteners and serious health risks, although some other factors can contribute. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 42:1-7
1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 27:1, 2, 3, 13-14
1 [Of David] Yahweh is my light and my salvation, ... Read More

Gospel, John 12:1-11
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 30th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Regulatus
March 30: Also Peter Regalado, Franciscan reformer. Peter was born at ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter