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Drug treatment for melanoma: progress, but who pays?

Graeme W Morgan
Med J Aust 2012; 197 (9): 491-492. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11314
Published online: 5 November 2012

To the Editor: The recent editorial by Kefford1 fails to mention that (i) the 5-year survival for malignant melanoma is excellent at 89% for males and 91% for females; (ii) treatment with the new melanoma drug ipilimumab for the 1279 people who died from melanoma in 2007 would cost the Australian Government $156 million based on the quoted drug cost of $120 000 for a course of four injections; and (iii) the increase in survival is only minimal with ipilimumab (median survival, 10.1 months v 6.4 months for placebo).2

  • Graeme W Morgan

  • Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.

Correspondence: gmorgan1@bigpond.net.au

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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