By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu
When looking at anti-cancer treatments, goals and perspectives, the perspective of pharmacology is a unique one. After reviewing research results for Velcade (Bortezomib), a coveted cancer treatment produced by Millennium Pharmaceuticals with Johnson and Johnson said to cover areas in cancer treatment that other treatments do not.
Bortezomib could be simulated in a lab to test the theory or “concept” of their original goal which was “the inhibition of proteasome by Velcade that is supposed to prevent the degradation of the intracellular proteins affecting multiple signals cascades within cells whose disruption can lead to cell death and inhibit tumor growth.” The anti-cancer concept sounds possible, feasible, intelligent and within the spectrum of science and technology where many things are doable. It does not appear that the concept was well enough developed to elicit a 100% complete response, in fact statistics within research were sometimes aggregating with phase 2 and phase 3 eliciting higher response rates-but not a 100% complete response, sometimes 0%, sometimes 4%, sometimes 18% and sometimes 35%. Fears that may arise when viewing the research were areas that need further development such as with the target cells that die which may be a combination of wanted and unwanted cellular bio material.
Bortezomib does not in fact cure cancer, however the pharmaceutical “concept” perhaps does? Perhaps it is a matter of “increased development” and “delayed release,” until response rates are much higher even 100% or somewhere there. Sample groups were small some in the twenties and likely should be until pharmaceutical response rates simulate or test in clinical trials at a higher rate of success. However desperate to release drugs or provide cures to ailing patients pharmaceuticals are released before their maturity or prime in favor of “in market” development over time.
From the perspective of agents like the National Health Service in the United Kingdom exorbitant costs totaling “more than $51,803 per quality of life adjusted year” from American companies like Johnson and Johnson, who opened sales to the UK markets. Schemes were created to refund costs in the event there was not a cure and outright denial of payment for pharma that was not meeting atleast a 50% complete response rate within the first four cycles. Deals were made for reimbursement, or risk sharing or rebates and discounts. What also became paramount to the Office of Fair Trading were affordability and “value based pricing.” It may become paramount to create offices for Fee inquiry or adjustments to remedy what could become exploitation of a vulnerable group with excessive pricing.
From the perspective of the patient, word on the “street” has it when inquiring of friends and family if they know of persons cured of cancers, it has been said that many have been cured of cancer by having it (cancer) “cut out or removed” and very few if any report cures from currently available pharmaceutical remedies.