Advances in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple myeloma have come at a rapid pace, especially with several new drugs entering the market in the last few years. However, access to and affordability of new treatments poses a major challenge, both in the United States and around the world. High costs of life-saving drugs are detrimental to both the personal finances of the individual patient, as well as society which must bear the increasing costs in terms of increased health insurance premiums, taxes, or both. The challenges are not unique to myeloma, but are commonly encountered in several other cancers as well. But to some extent these pharmacoeconomic concerns are amplified in myeloma due to the need for multidrug regimens that combine 2 or more expensive new drugs, continuous therapy, and the prolonged disease course in most patients. We examine current myeloma therapy from a pharmacoeconomic perspective, and discuss the costs involved. We outline the underlying reasons why cancer drugs are so expensive, the measures that are required to lower cost, and propose potential ways in which costs can be reduced while still delivering high-quality care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology