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US oncologists call for government regulation to curb drug price rises

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h4063 (Published 24 July 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4063
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

The US government must act to curb the soaring cost of anticancer drugs, 118 US oncologists have argued in a commentary published on 23 July in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.1

The authors include leading oncologists from such institutions as the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

“High cancer drug prices are affecting the care of patients with cancer and our healthcare system,” said the lead author, Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “The average gross household income in the US is about $52 000 [£33 000; €47 000] per year. For an insured patient with cancer who needs a drug that costs $120 000 per year, …

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