Novel chemotherapies more often used on- than off-label

February 26, 2013
Novel chemotherapies more often used on- than off-label
In contemporary practice, medical oncologists use novel anticancer agents on-label more often than off-label, according to a study published online Feb. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

(HealthDay)—In contemporary practice, medical oncologists use novel anticancer agents on-label more often than off-label, according to a study published online Feb. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

To examine the prevalence of off-label use of 10 commonly prescribed patent-protected anticancer drugs, Rena M. Conti, Ph.D., of the University of Chicago, and colleagues analyzed prescribing data from a pharmacy software provider maintaining a population-based cohort database including 570 medical oncologists in 122 medical oncology practices.

The researchers found that 70 percent of chemotherapy use was on-label, and 30 percent was off-label. Fourteen percent of use conformed to an off-label indication supported by the National Comprehensive Care Network (NCCN) recommendations. Ten percent of off-label use occurred at a U.S. -approved cancer site but for a stage of cancer or line of therapy that was not recommended by the NCCN. Spending on these chemotherapies amounted to $2 billion for off-label and NCCN supported uses and $2.5 billion for off-label and NCCN unsupported uses, compared with $7.3 billion for on-label uses.

"The overall proportion of off-label use that the authors identified is not high, especially when taking into account NCCN-approved indications, but the variation by drug and the associated costs are high," write the authors of an accompanying editorial. "The ultimate goal should not be zero off-label prescribing, but rather that the entire system be designed to maximize the likelihood of an optimal risk-benefit ratio for both individual patients and the system as a whole."

One author disclosed to ; a second author is an economic expert for plaintiffs in suit against the manufacturer of rituximab.

Explore further: Research suggests off-label prescribing of medications is common

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial

Related Stories

Research suggests off-label prescribing of medications is common

April 16, 2012
A study evaluating off-label prescribing of medications in a primary care network in Canada suggests the practice is common, although it varies by medication, patient and physician characteristics, according to a report published ...

Off-label drug use common, but patients may not know they're taking them, study finds

August 6, 2012
Many people have probably heard of off-label drug use, but they may not know when that applies to prescriptions they are taking, a Mayo Clinic analysis found. Off-label drug use occurs when a physician prescribes medication ...

Off-label medications prescribed to nearly all pediatric intensive care patients

October 21, 2012
"Off label" drugs are medications that have not been tested for safety or efficacy for a specific patient age or condition. New research presented Oct. 21 at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and ...

Recommended for you

Vitamin C may encourage blood cancer stem cells to die

August 17, 2017
Vitamin C may "tell" faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers. This is the finding of a study led by researchers from Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone ...

Outdoor light at night linked with increased breast cancer risk in women

August 17, 2017
Women who live in areas with higher levels of outdoor light at night may be at higher risk for breast cancer than those living in areas with lower levels, according to a large long-term study from Harvard T.H. Chan School ...

Scientists develop novel immunotherapy technology for prostate cancer

August 17, 2017
A study led by scientists at The Wistar Institute describes a novel immunotherapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer based on the use of synthetic DNA to directly encode protective antibodies against a cancer specific ...

Toxic formaldehyde is produced inside our own cells, scientists discover

August 16, 2017
New research has revealed that some of the toxin formaldehyde in our bodies does not come from our environment - it is a by-product of an essential reaction inside our own cells. This could provide new targets for developing ...

Cell cycle-blocking drugs can shrink tumors by enlisting immune system in attack on cancer

August 16, 2017
In the brief time that drugs known as CDK4/6 inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, doctors have made a startling observation: in certain patients, the drugs—designed to halt cancer ...

Researchers find 'switch' that turns on immune cells' tumor-killing ability

August 16, 2017
Molecular biologists led by Leonid Pobezinsky and his wife and research collaborator Elena Pobezinskaya at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have published results that for the first time show how a microRNA molecule ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.