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 July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Health

Breast Cancer in Men: More men having double mastectomies Watch

Image of Male breast cancer accounts for 1 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Males have a much lower risks of developing breast cancer. How men are treated -compared to female patients- is now under research after one study stated that the number of men opting for double mastectomies have nearly doubled. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


OLD HEARTS: Many Americans have hearts older than their chronological age Watch

Image of Many Americans have an old, old heart . and while this sounds like the lyric to a country western song, it's a biological fact for many.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Many Americans have an old, old heart... and while this sounds like the lyric to a country western song, it is a biological fact for many. A new study says that three out of four Americans' hearts are older than their chronological age. This sobering medical fact means ... continue reading


Deadly amoeba kills 14-year-old Olympic hopeful Watch

Image of Michael Riley Jr., three-time Junior Olympic qualifier posing with his medals.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Three-time Junior Olympics qualifier Michael Riley passed away last Sunday after a short battle with a rare brain infection. His family says they will pursue a campaign for a better understanding of the disease to honor the short, but well-lived, life of the teen. ... continue reading


Federal guidelines for school lunches: Does it really make a difference? Watch

Image of More food was wasted after federal guidelines requiring healthier options was enacted.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Even if school trays are loaded up with fruits and vegetables during lunchtime, kids are not actually eating them. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Healthier lunches have been required in schools in accordance to federal guidelines, but children remain ... continue reading


Orthorexia: The third major eating disorder Watch

Image of Over-restricting yourself can lead to malnutrition.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Obsessions with healthy eating could yield dangerous results, due to the lack of essential minerals and vitamins. An eating disorder called orthorexia may be silently leading avid nutrition fans toward malnutrition and even death. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


Bloodstream swimming 'fish' delivers drugs and detects toxins in human body Watch

Image of Microfish glow red in the presence of toxins.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Microfish, 3D-printed microbots have been developed at the University of California San Diego. The "smart" microbots were created to swim through bloodstreams to deliver drugs to specified places in the body. They can also sense and remove toxins. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Does self-control end up hurting you? New research pinpoints its negative affects Watch

Image of The brain activates different sections depending on stimulus.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a test involving 120 images of faces, a new study claims self-discipline is negatively affecting our ability to recall information. Researchers hope the new findings will help develop treatments for certain conditions like ADHD and addiction. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


LIVING SICK: Global life expectancy increases faster than healthy life expectancy Watch

Image of Misao Okawa, the oldest woman in the world at 117-years-old.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study shows that men and women across the world are living an average of six years longer than they did 25 years ago. Even in some of the world's least developed countries, life expectancy is rising. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Healthy life ... continue reading


Are people who worry more creative? New study links neuroticism, daydreaming and creativity Watch

Image of [Photo by: Shutterstock]

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Neurotic people tend to be more anxious and sensitive toward matters that don't usually concern people. Psychologist and self-proclaimed neurotic, Adam Perkins believes there is a link between neuroticism, creativity and daydreaming. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


87-year-old woman to have unusual 'unicorn horn' removed from head Watch

Image of Liang Xiuzhen, 87, and her

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What began as an itchy mole on the head of an 87-year-old villager in China has sprouted into a horn. The "horn" grew 13-cm long, earning her the nickname "unicorn woman" from local residents. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Liang Xiuzhen, an 87-year-old ... 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, Colossians 1:15-20
15 He is the image of the unseen God, the first-born ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:33-39
33 They then said to him, 'John's disciples are ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 4th, 2015 Image

St. Rosalia
September 4: St. Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, Lord of Roses and Quisquina, ... 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