What are the economics of treating CLL?

John Gribben, MD, DSc, FRCPath, FMed Sci of Barts Cancer Institute, London, UK discusses the economic issues of treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) at the 2016 International Workshop of the German CLL Study Group (GCLLSG) in Cologne, Germany. CLL is a much more common disease than chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), and therefore the number of people using expensive treatment agents is much higher. If we were to start talking about using these agents in combination, then that rapidly becomes unsustainable. Prof. Gribben explains that therefore, a large part of what was spoken about at the GCLLSG meeting was whether the right combination of these expensive drugs could be found and used for only a defined period of time. He explains that we are a long way from saying these agents can cure the disease but he believes it has to be the way in which the field is moving, as using these combinations of these very expensive drugs is indeed unsustainable.

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