A small randomized Phase II study for men with progressive castrate-resistant prostate cancer has tested the effects of taking one-fourth the standard dose of Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) after a low-fat breakfast instead of standard dose on an empty stomach.

Taking one-fourth the standard dose with a low-fat breakfast, the study found, can be as effective – and four times less expensive – as taking the standard dose as recommended: on an empty stomach. The finding has significant financial implications.

Abiraterone acetate is a standard treatment for metastatic CRPC. Retail cost is about $8000 per month.

A group of doctors led by Russell Szmulewitz, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and a specialist in medical treatment of patients with advanced prostate cancer, observed that "despite a large food effect (about a 17-fold increase in CMax with a high-fat meal), abiraterone acetate was administered under fasting conditions in its pivotal trials." ...continue reading "Low-dose Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) with a low-fat breakfast as effective as full dose on an empty stomach, study finds"

President Obama is proposing "a major new initiative to develop drugs tailored to the genetic characteristics of individual patients, but he expresses deep concern about the costs of such specialty medicines for consumers and for the Medicare program," reports Robert Pear in April 27 New York Times. ...continue reading "Obama Proposes That Medicare Be Given the Right to Negotiate the Cost of Drugs"