Oncolytic Virus Tx for Melanoma Called Too Expensive

(Nov. 30, 2018) A new cost-effectiveness study published in JAMA Dermatology found that talimogene laherparepvec plus ipilimumab may not be an economically beneficial treatment for advanced unresectable melanoma compared to using ipilimumab alone. HOPE Center doctoral students and faculty at the UA College of Pharmacy collaborated with UA Cancer Center colleagues and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance researcher to publish this study with new and important policy implications. An editorial response highlighted the “staggering cost…of $2.2 million per progression-free survival quality-adjusted life year gained... is prohibitively expensive for both patients and insurers," further urging “medical professionals—academic researchers, practicing physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals—to identify and condemn treatments with unreasonable costs and no clinical benefits.” For more information, JAMA has also released an audio interview with study author and HOPE Center faculty, Dr. Ivo Abraham.

Researchers included:

HOPE Center Doctoral Students
  • Abdulaali Almutairi, PharmD
  • Nimer Alkhatib, PharmD, MS
  • Mok Oh, PharmD, MS
HOPE Center Faculty
  • Ivo Abraham, PhD
UA Cancer Center 
  • Clara Curiel-Lewandrowski, MD
  • Hani Babiker, MD
  • Ali McBride, PharmD, MS
Seattle Cancer Care
  • Lee Cranmer, MD, PhD