Douglas W. House, writing for investment website, Seeking Alpha, reports that Merck’s recent KEYTRUDA Phase 3 clinical trial results (KEYNOTE-181) evidences statistically significant improvement in overall survival (OS)—the primary endpoint, compared to chemotherapy. In the United States, esophageal cancer is the seventh-leading cause of cancer death among males (4 percent of total deaths). The NIH estimates 18,000 new cases and more than 15,000 deaths back in 2013. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2014 there were 18,170 new esophageal cancer cases with up to 15,450 deaths.
KEYTRUDA has made a major difference in many patients’ and family lives, is being evaluated in over 400 clinical trials, and currently costs about $2,000 to $2,400 per prescription. It has been called a “Miracle Drug” but some analysts have reported Merck may have too much concentrated investment in the drug.
Source: Seeking Alpha