Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Price to Pay

Two UK physicians, Alastair Munro and Paddy Niblock, write about the "political and moral consequences of the globalisation of research into cancer treatment" in the Lancet. This comes in response to another article in that journal from the ToGA trial that found that Herceptin along with chemotherapy increased survival time by a few months in patients with HER2-positive gastric cancer. The Guardian adds that "on the basis of the results, the European Medicines Agency has licensed Herceptin for this use." Munro and Niblock, however, question the cost, particularly in the countries where the trials took place. They calculate that the cost of Herceptin therapy to be nearly £14,000 per patient, but note that the yearly health expenditure per citizen of the countries in which the trial took place are much smaller, ranging from about £25 to around £3,000. This, they write, "reiterates the important moral question — what is the justification for introducing a treatment that might enable one individual to live a few months longer, but will consume, for each person treated, the total yearly health expenditure for scores of their fellow citizens?"

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.