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Trends Update — Comparative Effectiveness and Personalized Medicine: Genetic Test Identifies Patient Subpopulation for Benefit, Avoids Wasted Money and Time for Others on Erbitux, Vectibix

B&W_DNA_sequenceThis is exactly how personalized medicine and comparative effectiveness can interact to benefit patients, pharma companies and payors:

  • data shows that patients with KRAS mutations don’t benefit from anti-EGFR antibody meds Erbitux or Vectibix;
  • the FDA approves a labeling change identifying the patients who won’t benefit;
  • payors see costs savings from eliminating pointless prescriptions;
  • patients without the KRAS mutations have added incentive to take the drugs, benefiting themselves and the pharma companies who make the drugs.

As the WSJ Health Blog says:

“Erbitux and other expensive cancer medicines have faced repeated questions about whether drugs that prolong life for short periods of time are worth the high costs… Not using Erbitux as a first-line treatment for [KRAS-variant] patients could save about $600 million a year.”

The manufacturers Bloomberg’s reporter spoke to are fully supportive:

“‘The inclusion of KRAS as a biomarker in the Erbitux labeling helps physicians to better understand the most appropriate use of the drug in the management of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer,’ said Fouad Namouni, an oncology executive for Bristol-Myers …

Physicians can eliminate Vectibix and Erbitux for colon cancer patients with the KRAS mutation and ‘redirect those patients to alternative therapies, avoiding unnecessary treatments in patients who are unlikely to benefit,’ said Sean Harper, Amgen’s chief medical officer.”

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5 responses to “Trends Update — Comparative Effectiveness and Personalized Medicine: Genetic Test Identifies Patient Subpopulation for Benefit, Avoids Wasted Money and Time for Others on Erbitux, Vectibix

  1. Pingback: Trends Update — “Personalized Effectiveness”: Amgen Gets Prospective Data to Back KRAS-Vectibix Plan « The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

  2. Pingback: Preventing Bias in Comparative Effectiveness Research « The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

  3. Pingback: Top 10 Cross-Border Biotech Blog Posts of 2009 « The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

  4. Pingback: Biotech Trends Update: Costs Savings from Personalized Medicine Sought by PBMs, Employers, Pharma Face Legal and Privacy Hurdles « The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

  5. Pingback: Biotech Trends Update: A Personalized Critique of Comparative Effectiveness Misses the Mark « The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

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