The economic evaluation of personalised oncology medicines: ethical challenges

Jan R R Lewis, Wendy L Lipworth, Ian H Kerridge, Richard O Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Insights into the molecular drivers of cancer are providing opportunities for the development of new targeted treatments and more personalised approaches to cancer management. Drugs targeting mutant epidermal growth factor receptors, such as erlotinib and gefitinib, may provide more effective, safer and better tolerated treatment options compared with chemotherapy among appropriately selected patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). First-line access to these newer treatments remains unfunded after several considerations by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and their assessment that these are not cost-effective treatments. We suggest that there may be evidentiary and ethical challenges associated with the assessment of the cost-effectiveness of personalised oncology medicines in Australia, and that a new approach is needed to determine the value and cost-effectiveness of personalised medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-473
Number of pages3
JournalThe Medical journal of Australia
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Australia
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Erlotinib Hydrochloride
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Neoplasms
  • Precision Medicine
  • Quinazolines
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Receptor, Epidermal Growth Factor
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Journal Article


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