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The rising cost of cancer drugs is the the topic for the next UT Science Forum, April 8

cancer-drug-treatments-waddellDr. J. Aubrey Waddell, professor of clinical pharmacy at UT and the oncology pharmacist at Blount Memorial Hospital, will present “Why New Cancer Drugs Cost So Much But Do So Little” at the next UT Science Forum Friday, April 8.

The three-drug chemotherapy regimen that produces a 90 percent cure rate in metastatic testicular cancer carries a wholesale price tag of about $400, and that’s the total wholesale price for four cycles of chemotherapy that take about two months to treat the patient. All of those drugs date from the 1970’s. However, a new drug for metastatic melanoma, ipilimumab, produces only a two to four month median overall survival advantage over the old and cheap drug dacarbazine and the ipilimumab costs $160,000 wholesale for two months of treatment. How did we get to this point in American cancer drug development and economics? Also, what are the clinical trial endpoints you should be discussing with your oncologist when considering any cancer drug therapy, old or new? Dr. Waddell will answer these and other questions during the presentation.

The UT Science Forum takes place in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe, Rooms C-D from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the Cafe.

Presentations usually last 45 minutes with time for Q&A afterwards. The Science Forum is free and open to the public.