Oncologist to Launch Social Media Campaign Against Cost of Cancer Drugs

Following his collaboration with other research scientists to protest the cost of cancer drugs, Hagop Kantarjian, MD, from the MD Anderson Cancer Center has now turned to patients.

Hagop M. Kantarjian, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Leukemia at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is preparing to launch a grassroots campaign to gather patients' stories about how they are affected by high cancer drug prices.

“If we can get a million signatures online, either through Twitter or Facebook, about patients who say ‘I protest high cancer drug prices because...’ and tell their stories, this will become a major story that will put pressure on drug companies,” he said. “And it will put pressure on our elected representatives to try to reduce high cancer drug prices or to make cancer drugs affordable to all patients.”

The social media campaign is the next phase of Kantarjian's work to protest cancer drug prices, which have spiked in the past decade. As he noted in a 2013 article coauthored with Donald W. Light, PhD, 12 of the 13 new drugs approved for cancer treatment the year before were priced at more than $100,000 per year of therapy (Cancer 2013;119:3900-3902).

Complete article and interview in Oncology Times:

http://bit.ly/1MuPA3J

Late last year, Kantarjian participated in a session at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting titled “The rising cost of medical care: understanding the problem and exploring solutions.”