Newer drugs for refractory and relapsed multiple myeloma are effective but costly, review finds

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 13 May 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2725
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. Seattle

Several newer generation drugs used to treat relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma offer slightly improved health outcomes but would need to be substantially discounted to be cost effective, a review by an independent non-profit US institute has concluded.1

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review conducts clinical and cost effectiveness analyses of treatments, tests, and procedures to guide health policy. It reviewed treatments used as second line or later in adults with multiple myeloma who were relapsing after or not responding to treatment and were not currently on maintenance treatment or being considered for a stem cell transplant.

The reviewers noted that the introduction of proteasome inhibitor and immunomodulatory drug therapy has led to an increase in survival of patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma …

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