Too Many Cancer Drugs: Part II

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  • 12/30/2006
Es ist nichts schrecklicher als eine thatige Unwissenheit…That’s Goethe for “There is nothing scarier than an active ignorance.”

I wrote that in response to a post I found something called The Health Care Blog back in July (Here's the link to my post way back then ) I bring it up as an example of the thinking that provides the left with its rationalization for price controls, restrictive formularies, biased arguments in favor of single payer health system (as in people wait in Europe and Canada cause they are so rural or because they like to wait or have a cultural preference to waiting).

It's the crap -- now applied to deadly illnessess -- that we have way too many drugs that add too little benefit marketed to exploit the sick and dying. And all this dovetails with something friends and acquaintances ask me with surprising regularity:
Don't the drug companies have a cure for cancer or HIV but just don't want to make it available since it would put them out of business?

So drug companies and biotech firms actually spend billions on medicines that fail to make it to market 92 percent of the time because.. Maybe someone could .explain how this fits into the conspiracy theory?

And the genetic tests that help identify which patients will respond best to what treatments... like this most recent test that predicts patients with eye cancer...

"Identifying patients at high risk for metastasis is an important first step toward reducing the death rate of this cancer, which kills nearly half of its patients."
Ocular melanoma attacks the pigment cells in the retina. Earlier studies discovered that patients who are missing one copy of chromosome 3 in their tumor tissue are more likely to have highly aggressive cancers. Half of these patients die within five years, due to metastasis to the liver and other organs.

"When physicians know upfront which patient has a poor prognosis, they will monitor the person more closely to detect metastasis earlier and consider more aggressive treatments to increase their chance of survival, ..Knowledge of metastatic risk will also help patients and their physicians decide whether to pursue clinical trials of experimental therapies that target metastasis."

See New Genetic Test Predicts Risk Of Metastasis In Patients With Deadly Eye Cancer

Yeah but that means even more cancer drugs. Don't we have enough already?

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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