In a remarkably short period of time, drugs that harness the power of the immune system, have been used to successfully treat many cancers.
Immunotherapy drugs work by increasing the patient’s own immune response. The most successful examples of immunotherapies are drugs that act as antibodies, of which Keytruda is one.
Imagine being able to offer hope to people with cancers once thought untreatable. Checkpoint immune drugs like Opdivo and Keytruda lead this new era in treatment. But they don’t work for everyone.
Hope, fear, and desperation, along with the unique characteristics of the cancer drug market, create a “perfect storm” that continues to drive up prices for cancer drugs.
Keytruda® is the latest drug to be registered in Australia for the treatment of widespread melanoma. But we must wait to see if it meets the cost-effectiveness targets for PBS subsidisation.