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02-06-2018 | Colorectal cancer | News | Article

ASCO 2018 in brief

Metastatic CRC cost disparity revealed for USA, Canada

medwireNews: The cost of metastatic colorectal cancer treatment in the USA is significantly more expensive than in Canada but does not achieve a greater survival benefit among patients, highlight findings reported at the ASCO Annual Meeting 2018 in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Presenting author Todd Yezefski, from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, USA, and team compared the cost of treatment in 575 Western Washington State patients in the SEER Cancer Registry and 1622 patients entered in the British Columbia cancer Registry, all of whom were diagnosed in 2010 or thereafter.

A greater proportion of the Western Washington patients than the British Columbian patients received first-line systemic therapy (79 vs 68%); FOLFOX was the most common regimen in Western Washington (39%), whereas FOLFIRI plus bevacizumab was most frequently used among the British Columbian patients (32%).

The average cost per month of treatment was significantly higher in the West Washington cohort, at an average of US$ 12,345 versus US$ 6195 (€ 10,586 vs € 5312) for the British Columbian group, and this was true for the most common regimens, at US$ 11,814 versus US$ 8992 (€ 10,131 vs € 7711), despite bevacizumab being considered an expensive drug, the presenter commented.

However, median overall survival in the West Washington and British Columbian patients given systemic treatment was a comparable 21.4 and 22.1 months, respectively, with corresponding median values of 17.4 and 16.9 months in the overall groups.

Describing the findings as “same bang for more buck,” Yezefski observed that the Canadian government plays a role in setting drug prices and advised that “allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices may lead to decreased costs” in the USA.

By Lynda Williams

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2018 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group