The approval of new antiviral agents and the wide-ranging costs of ophthalmic therapies with comparable efficacy have renewed the debate over the cost-effectiveness of novel drugs. In oncology, more expensive treatments do not always substantially change the outcome of the disease, but they merely prolong life expectancy by a few weeks even at the cost of significant side effects. Treatment costs are a key factor the physician should consider when sharing care decisions with the patient. In addition, fund allocation for purchasing high cost medications results in limited investment in clinical research and human resources - doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff - that play a central role in patient care. Regulatory agencies should be more demanding, reimbursing pharmaceutical companies on the basis of treatment outcome. Copyright - Il Pensiero Scientifico Editore.
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