Trending News Today: Lynparza Improves Progression-Free Survival in Pancreatic Cancer

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New phase 3 study results showed that olaparib (Lynparza), which is developed by both AstraZeneca and Merck, significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with germline BRCA-mutated metastatic pancreatic cancer, according to AstraZeneca. In the phase 3 POLO study, 154 patients whose disease had not progressed on first-line platinum-based chemotherapy were randomized to receive olaparib or placebo until disease progression. The primary endpoint was PFS and key secondary endpoints included overall survival, time to second disease progression, overall response rate, disease control rate, and health-related quality of life, AstraZeneca reported.

A recent study found that non-surgical hemorrhoid treatment costs at least $770 million annually among US adults with employer insurance, Reuters reported. According to the article, the study examined claims data for employer-insured adults and found 227,000 patients with at least 1 outpatient hemorrhoid-related claim. The researchers calculated that approximately 1.4 million non-senior adults sought care for hemorrhoids in 2014 at a total annual cost of $770 million, including $322 million in physician claims, $361 million in outpatient facility claims, and $88 million in prescription medication.

Pharmaceutical executives were questioned by members of the Senate Finance Committee in a public hearing on Tuesday about their role in rising prescription drug costs, The Hill reported. According to the article, senators pushed drug manufacturers to drop their list prices, but executives argued that dropping list prices is not feasible with the current structure of the supply chain. However, the drug executives said they support a proposal from the Trump administration that would eliminate Medicare rebates paid to insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). The manufacturers pointed the finger at the current supply chain, involving insurers and PBMs, whom they said do not pass on savings to patients.