Value and Cost of Myeloma Therapy-We Can Afford It

Rafael Fonseca, Jennifer Hinkel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A national conversation regarding the price and affordability of drugs exists, where concern for value and benefits of medications is challenged by the increasing price of both injectable and oral medications, including the cost of care of myeloma. At the same time, we have seen unprecedented improvements in the overall survival of patients with myeloma, mostly because of the availability of these new drugs. Here, we present data to assert that these medications and associated expenses are of direct benefit to patients and society. The entrepreneurial reward for drug development in the United States has fueled vigorous drug development efforts that have culminated in the approval of 11 new drugs for the treatment of myeloma by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 1999. These patented drugs are available to patients in the United States usually at a higher price than in the rest of the world. Nevertheless, the majority of patients, via direct copay assistance or through indirect support via third parties, have access to these drugs irrespective of their socioeconomic status. One of the major regulatory hurdles that prevents access to these drugs is the legal impossibility that pharmaceutical companies have in directly supporting copay assistance for patients with government-funded health care. Moreover, assessments of value should include formal pharmacoeconomic analyses performed by experts. Interference with market forces and coercive action, such as price controls, or exercising eminent domain in the quest for cheaper medications will stymie innovation and rob us of the cures of the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-655
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Society of Clinical Oncology educational book. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Annual Meeting
Issue number38
StatePublished - May 23 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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