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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

UNC Faculty Member Invited to Inform President’s Cancer Panel about Cancer Drug Pricing and Access

Dr. Stacie B. Dusetzina, assistant professor of health policy and management at the Gillings School of Global Public Health and a researcher who investigates drug pricing and insurance policy issues, made a presentation June 10 to the President’s Cancer Panel, an advisory group to President Obama.

[Photo: Dr. Stacie Dusetzina]

Dr. Dusetzina, who also is assistant professor of pharmaceutical outcomes and policy in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, is one of three experts presenting at the panel’s inaugural workshop on drug access, cost, innovation and value.

“I am very excited to be a part of this first work group to inform the panel’s efforts focused on access to and cost of cancer drugs,” Dr. Dusetzina said. “We know that drug prices have been increasing rapidly, and this is likely to continue as targeted and innovative therapies are developed for treating cancer.”

A recent analysis by Dr. Dusetzina found that the launch prices of new cancer drugs in pill form have risen since 2000 and that the drugs have continued to increase in price after launch. In an April 28 article in JAMA Oncology, she reported that a month of treatment with orally administered cancer drugs introduced in 2014 were, on average, six times more expensive at launch than cancer drugs introduced in 2000 after adjusting for medical inflation. Drugs approved in 2000 cost an average of $1,869 per month, compared with $11,325 for those approved in 2014. [Read more about the JAMA study here.]

“Patients are caught in the middle while we try to find solutions to reward innovation and manage health-care spending,” Dr. Dusetzina said.

The President’s Cancer Panel is a three-member group established by the National Cancer Act and approved by President Nixon in 1971. The panel monitors the development and execution of the National Cancer Program and reports directly to the president on barriers to program implementation.

Dr. Barbara K. Rimer, dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a UNC Lineberger member, has served as chair of the panel since 2011.

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