University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member Stacie Dusetzina, PhD, a researcher who investigates drug pricing and insurance policy issues, will present today to the President’s Cancer Panel, and advisory group to President Obama on the National Cancer Program.
Dusetzina, an assistant professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is one of three experts presenting at the panel’s inaugural workshop on drug access, cost, innovation and value.
“I am very excited to be a part of this first work group to inform the panel’s work focused on access to and cost of cancer drugs,” Dusetzina said. “We know that drug prices have been increasingly rapidly, and this is likely to continue as targeted and innovative therapies are developed for treating cancer.”
A recent analysis by Dusetzina found that the launch prices of new cancer drugs in pill form has grown since 2000, and that the drugs have continued to grow in price after launch as well. She reported in the journal JAMA Oncology that a month of treatment with orally-administered cancer drugs introduced in 2014 were, on average, six times more expensive at launch than cancer drugs introduced in 2000 after adjusting for medical inflation. Drugs approved in 2000 cost an average of $1,869 per month, compared with $11,325 for those approved in 2014.
“Patients are caught in the middle, in some ways, while we work to find solutions to reward innovation and manage health care spending,” Dusetzina said.
The President’s Cancer Panel is a three-member group established by the National Cancer Act, and signed by President Nixon in 1971. The panel monitors the development and execution of the National Cancer Program, and reports directly to the president on barriers to program implementation.
Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a UNC Lineberger member, was tapped to chair the panel for a third term last year. She has served as chair since 2011.