US Pharm. 2016;41(4):12.

New York, NY—U.S. physicians and hospitals discard almost $3 billion in unused oncology drugs each year. Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center focused on 20 agents, such as pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and carfilzomib (Kyprolis), that are given by injection or IV and require doses adjusted based on the patient’s body size. Often these medications come in supersized, single-use packages, and excess medicine must be discarded for safety reasons. It was found that about 1% to 33% of these agents remain in vials after each dose is administered. This waste is driving up the cost of care and health insurance, as oncology is one of the most expensive drug categories. Proposed solutions include making more packaging and dosing options available.

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