Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Funding for liver cancer treatment to depend on evaluation

From the Regina Leader Post:
Health Canada approved a drug to treat liver cancer on Monday, but funding Nexavar could be a tough economic pill for the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency to swallow.

Nexavar was approved by Health Canada after a worldwide trial involving 602 patients demonstrated that the average survival rate for Nexavar-treated patients was 10.7 months compared to 7.9 months for those taking a placebo.

Before the cancer agency decides about funding Nexavar it will wait for an evaluation of the drug's benefit and cost from the Joint Oncology Drug Review (JODR), a process underway in all provinces except Quebec, said Kathy Gesy, the agency's provincial leader of oncology pharmacy services.

If the JODR gives Nexavar its stamp of approval, then the agency must determine where the drug fits in its queue of many unfunded drugs. ...more

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