CBC News

CBC News 2 Mar 2020

Cancer drugs routinely thrown out, wasting millions of dollars per year: study


The health-care system is wasting millions of dollars by buying cancer medications that are thrown out because of the way they are packaged by drug makers — in one-size-fits-all vials that hold too much for most patients, a study found. The waste costs as much as $102 million over a three-year period, according to the study published two years ago in the medical journal Cancer.

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CStone Pharmaceuticals CEO Dr. Frank Jiang says a new area of cancer drugs -- immunotherapy -- is creating "very exciting" results for cancer patients.

Immunotherapy drugs use the body's own immune system to fight cancer cells. CStone's clinical trials with immunotherapies result in varied outcomes based on cancer type and patient background. But Jiang is optimistic. He says there's great promise that cancer treatment will go the way of HIV: A cocktail of treatments personalized to the patient.

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