Researchers have come a long way in developing effective treatments for a variety of different kinds of cancer. Unfortunately, the companies who hold the patents on may of these potentially life saving or life extending drugs have placed a high price tag on their use. This makes it difficult and in some cases impossible for the patients who need them the most to gain access. Here re the five types of cancer with the most expensive medications.
5. Prostate cancer
The drug Xofigo is the fifth most expensive cancer treatment drug. It is used in the treatment of late stage prostate cancer which has metastasized into the bones but has not yet entered other organs in the body. This is a very specific group of patients with cancer diagnoses. The total monthly cost of using this drug per patient is a whopping $12,657. The drug was approved for use in late stage prostate cancer patients in May of 2013 and it is used in patients who did not achieve results with other types of treatments. Clinical trials have shown positive results for effectiveness in concentrating the effects of radiation directly into tumors in the bone, extending life expectancy from 11.2 months to 14 months on average.
4. Stomach cancer and non-small cell lung cancer
A drug called Cyramza is used in the treatment of stomach cancer and non small cell lung cancer. It was approved by the FDA for the treatment of these conditions in April of 2013. The monthly cost per patient for Cyramza is $13,256. This drug works by inhibiting the blood supply that is required for tumor growth. It’s a drug that is used when other treatments have failed to slow the progression of cancer. It is manufactured by Eli Lilly and it has been found to be effective in treating small cell lung cancer along with docetaxel, a type of chemotherapy. The sales of this drug are steadily growing despite its high cost to approximately $134 million with expectations that these figures will rise dramatically within the year.
3. Late stage non-small cell lung cancer
The third most expensive drug used in cancer treatment is Zykadia. The monthly cost to administer this drug to patients is $13,672. It was approved by teh FDA to treat non small cell lung cancer in the late stage four months ahead of its original schedule. It is most commonly used in the treatment of patients who have had a return of the disease after they’ve been treated with crizotinib. This is a rare population among cancer sufferers as only between two to seven percent of patients are ALK Positive. This drug has shown effectiveness in clinical trials with half of the patients seeing their tumors shrink. The total sales for the drug so far have only been $31 million.
2. Differentiated thyroid cancer
This type of thyroid cancer, also known as DTC is treated with the second most expensive oncology treatment drug known as Lenvima. Lenvima costs $17,000 per month per patient before discounts. It was approved by the FDA for use n 2011. It is used for patients whose cancer has still progressed with other types of treatments. Lenvima works by blocking proteins that are necessary for cancer cells to grow and replicate. Results show that patients who take this drug saw a period of 18.3 months without disease progression verses the 3.6 months for those receiving a placebo.
1. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
The most expensive cancer treatment drug in the world is Blincyto. It costs a staggering $64,260 per month per patient for use. This drug was just recently approved for use in the treatment of this type of cancer in December of 2018. It is used to boost patient immune system and to seek out and destroy leukemia cells. There are not yet any figures associated with the current total sales of this drug because it is so new on the market but the figures are expected to be high because of its effectiveness in clinical trials. Blincyto is the most expensive cancer treatment drug that has ever been developed.