Price dispute blocks costly cancer drug in Canada

June 19, 2006 by  
Filed under CANCER

One of the world’s most costly cancer drugs will not be marketed in Canada because of a price dispute between the drug’s distributor and the federal government.

The colorectal cancer drug Erbitux, which was approved by Health Canada nine months ago, will not be launched after distributor Bristol Myers Squibb Canada could not agree on a price with the federal Patented Medicine Prices Review Board., The Globe and Mail reports.


While Erbitux has not yet been proven to extend the lives of colorectal cancer patients, it does shrink tumours in some patients and delay tumour growth, especially when used as a combination treatment.

MORE: | Price dispute blocks costly cancer drug in Canada

Cancer drug may end side effects

April 3, 2006 by  
Filed under CANCER

Last Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK

A new device for cancer patients could end the side effects of chemotherapy such as hair loss and vomiting, researchers say.

The revolutionary new method uses an implant made of tiny fibres and beads soaked in chemotherapy drugs.

The device, which was developed at Bath University, dissolves internally, releasing the chemotherapy chemicals directly into the cancer site.

It is set to begin clinical trials in the next few years.

The usual way of delivering chemotherapy to patients is by injecting the drugs into a vein, meaning they are carried throughout the body, affecting all body parts.

Reduce deaths

The Bath University team claims the new method – known as Fibrasorb – could also cut the number of patients who die from the harmful side effects of chemotherapy because they need such high doses.

Dr Semali Perera said: “Side effects from chemotherapy can be very unpleasant and sometimes fatal.

“The new fibres and beads could cut out some side-effects entirely, including nausea and vomiting, and could reduce the number of people who die each year.”

The new technology was welcomed by Breakthrough Breast Cancer on Friday.

Dr Sarah Rawlings, of the charity, said: “This new research is at an extremely early stage but Breakthrough welcomes any research into new treatments which may be less debilitating than those currently available.”


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