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Comment & Response
September 2015

Pricing and Value of Cancer Drugs—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Medical Oncology Service, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA Oncol. 2015;1(6):842-843. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.1959

In Reply In our article,1 we demonstrated that the high price of cancer drugs had no correlation with their novelty, the basis of their regulatory approval, or their clinical benefit. These conclusions remain sound.

Burkholder speculates that the poor correlation we observed between the cost of drugs and gains in progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) might have been different had we analyzed the absolute improvement in months (Δ) rather than the percent change. Performing the analysis this way does not alter our conclusions. For PFS, we find a significant reduction in price based on larger gains of β = −$3264 (95% CI, −$6004 to −$525; P = .02), with a poor R2 (0.24). For OS, we find no correlation (β = $3886 [95% CI, −$6700 to $14 471]; P = .45, R2 = 0.03).

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