The approval of in Panama of the use of a drug to treat a type of blood cancer affecting some 400 patients could have a positive effect on their lives.
It us estimates that over 124,000 people in the world have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of cancer in the blood that occurs when the plasma cells turn malignant.
Over 87,000 died because of the illness in the year 2015.
In Panama, there are currently some 400 cases says a TVN report.
The disease has several clinical manifestations and the most common symptom is bone pain. Others include anemia (with or without symptoms) and bone alterations (with or without symptoms) and renal function.
The suspicion of multiple myeloma must be established early for prompt referral to a specialist.
Recently, the National Directorate of Pharmacy and Drugs of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), approved the use of daratumumab as an alternative treatment for patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
Dr. Germán Espino, the hematologist at the Paitilla Hemato-Oncological Center, explained that treatments like daratumumab allow patients with multiple myeloma to live in general twice as long as in other decades.
The approval of part of the Pharmacy and Drugs Directorate is for adult patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least one previous treatment and adult patients who did not respond to different therapies currently approved.
"The arrival in Panama of daratumumab, the first biological medicine for the treatment of multiple myeloma, is a novelty that opens new possibilities that positively impact the quality of life of patients ", Dr. Espino added.
What’s wrong, Garlic; no response? Shame suits you well!
Since on average, MM patients are 70 years old at diagnosis, your suggestion that they should wait “until more testing is complete” means running out of time for this painful, fatal cancer to be treated. But perhaps your point is exactly that: forestalling use of this expensive drug would save a lot of money while elderly patients die waiting. Personally, since you ask, I think the new U.S. Law giving last hope patients the Right to Try is far more humanitarian. But I guess that's not your thing.
Well, to answer your question, Panama is not part of the lab-rat population used by big pharma in the USA. Panama clearly waits until most testing is complete before fielding a 'new' drug. I have no problem with the wait-and-see approach. And you, mhogan?
Daratumumab was given breakthrough therapy drug status in 2013 for multiple myeloma. So it took 5 years to get to Panama. How many people could have benefited in those missing years?