By John Gapper
Companies take advantage of inflexible patient demand to try to recoup research costs.
If the worst happens, there is one comfort: this is the best time in history to contract cancer. You stand a better chance than ever before of being cured or of living a longer life after less unpleasant treatment. There is a possible side-effect to consider, though: financial ruin.
A flow of encouraging medical news emerged this week from an annual gathering of US oncology researchers and doctors: not only is a new generation of drugs working but they are attacking a broad range of tumours. Immunotherapy — using the body’s immune system to destroy cancer — is showing signs of improving the life expectancy of many patients.