Question of the day:
- Person: "Why does Novartis charge so much for their drugs?"
- Dr. Mauro: "...while perhaps we cannot change the pricing, there are patient assistant programs out there..."
Always a tough question to ask when CML therapies are manufactured for a relatively small number of patients and by for-profit pharmaceutical companies.
A couple of highlights that I found interesting:
- He did mention that for chronic phase patients who are responding well to treatment, perhaps only 1 or 2 (or a "limited number of") BMBs are needed, thus implying that peripheral blood is a good option for ongoing monitoring for treatment. Still makes me wonder if I should 'push' my specialist for another BMB before the one-year point, because I don't think he's planning on doing one.
- He mentioned the two largest stop-TKI trials and that ~ 40% of the participants in the trials have been able to stay off treatment. But we do need a tool to predict who might relapse, and/or are lower risk for relapse after stopping treatment. They also aren't sure how 'quality' the regained response is when someone relapses, then re-starts the TKI.
Pretty nice offering from the LLS this afternoon. Very cool for Dr. Mauro to donate his time for a bunch of questions from the multilingual audience.