In a climate of escalating drug costs – when a month’s supply of cancer medication can run into thousands of dollars – it’s critical for decision makers to maximize health gains within current budget constraints.
Indeed, in public health care systems, such as exists in Canada, funding decisions for new cancer drugs currently take into account the overall drug benefits, in terms of years of life and quality of life gains, and associated costs among others.
Dr. Younis, and colleagues, examine the “value for money” of various oncologic treatments and/or interventions for breast cancer, through complex mathematical models (cost-utility analyses) that incorporate treatment benefits, adverse events, quality of life and costs. With funding support from Breast Cancer Society of Canada, and others, Dr. Younis’s team has already identified a number of economically-preferred anti-cancer therapeutics in an attempt to optimize the systemic therapy for breast cancer patients in the Canadian public health care system.
– Dr. Tallal Younis, Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute, Halifax, Nova Scotia