Study: Benefits of Some Cancer Drugs Mitigated by Other Drugs

Posted 16 March 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

Many cancer patients taking oncology drugs might see the beneficial effects of their medication fail to materialize if they are taking other medications, says a new study by Medco Health Solutions Inc.

The Medco study found between 23% and 57% of patients taking cancer drugs for a specific cancer were also taking medications that could alter the effects of the drug, including decreased effectiveness and increased toxicity.

"For Gleevec, 43% of the 4,617 cancer patients taking the therapy got medicines that may reduce its effectiveness, while 68% received drugs that might increase toxicity, reports Bloomberg.

The report highlights the importance of having primary care doctors and cancer specialists coordinate treatments with one another. "[T]he vast majority of the cancer drugs were prescribed by an oncologist, while the other medicines were typically prescribed by a primary care physician," said Reuters.

Read more:

Bloomberg - Cancer Drug Benefits May Be Eroded by Other Medications

Reuters - Common medicines may cut cancer drug potency: study

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