OBR Daily Commentary

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Solving the $100,000 Cancer Drug Problem

(Harvard Business Review blog) May 2, 2013 - The key to solving this problem is to forget about regulation, charity, or public shaming and instead focus on how to help drug companies make even more money.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: May 02, 2013)

quotesThis is a very thoughtful discussion of a major problem disrupting our ability to deliver cancer care in the new world of molecular oncology effectively. I have many patients who are unable to receive treatments known or likely to be very effective for them because they cannot afford them. While we want to ensure that pharma/biotech companies are incentivized to bring new treatments to market and rewarded for the risks involved, this does need to be balanced with the profound negative effects of exorbitant pricing creating a world of "haves" and "have nots" based on coverage of these drugs, all within the same health care system.quotes

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Oncolytics Lung Cancer Drug Effective in Mid-Stage Trial, Shares Up

(Yahoo! News/Reuters) Mar 28, 2013 - Oncolytics Biotech Inc said its experimental lung cancer drug was found to be more effective in a mid-stage trial study, sending its shares up more than 10 percent.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: March 28, 2013)

quotesThe numbers are small, but I agree that this early work is encouraging and justifies further studies. It's especially welcome to see promising work in patients with squamous cell NSCLC, who have fewer treatment options than those patients with non-squamous NSCLC.quotes

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Why Are Healthcare Costs Exploding? See Proton Cancer Therapy

(Xconomy) Mar 18, 2013 - Newer technology must always be better, right? Never mind if it costs a little extra.

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H. Jack West, MD (Posted: March 18, 2013)

quotesI'm quoted in this article, which I think is really quite balanced and raises several very important points. Proton beam radiation is 3x more expensive than conventional radiation and is devoid of any compelling evidence that it improves outcomes significantly for any but the rarest cancers. We need to ensure that evidence and not marketing drive our treatments, and right now proton beam radiation is far too expensive to mislead the public into thinking it should be a clear standard of care for the vast majority of cancers. quotes

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Meet the Editorial Board

Prostate Cancer
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Tomasz M. Beer, MD, FACP

Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Medical O...

Community Oncology
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Dean Gesme, MD

FACP FACPE FASCO President, Minnesota Oncology...

Breast Cancer
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Debu Tripathy, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncol...

Lung Cancer
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H. Jack West, MD

Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program, Swedish Ca...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Howard S. Hochster, MD

Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Woo...

Radiation Oncology
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Howard Sandler, MD, MS, FASTRO

Ronald H. Bloom Chair in Cancer Therapeutics
Pr...

Community Oncology
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Jeff Patton, M.D.

CEO Tennessee Oncology...

Precision Medicine Section Editor
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Jennifer Levin Carter, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer and Founder, N-of-One...

Financial Sector
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Michael G. King Jr.

Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst...

Gastrointestinal Cancers
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Richard Goldberg, MD

Director WVU Cancer Institute Director of Cancer Signa...

Editor-In-Chief
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Robert A. Figlin, MD., FACP

Professor and Director, Division of Hematology Oncology...

Health Policy
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Ted Okon

Executive Director Community Oncology Alliance...

Community Oncology
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Thomas Marsland, MD

Vice President Integrated Community Oncology Network ...

Community Oncology
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William Harwin MD

Florida Cancer Specialists President and Managing Part...

Health Policy
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William McGivney, PhD

National Health Policy Expert...

Payer
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Winston Wong, PharmD

President, W-Squared Group...