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Xalkori (crizotinib) is a medication developed by Pfizer, primarily used for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is caused by a defect in the ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase) gene. It works as a protein kinase inhibitor, blocking an enzyme crucial for cancer cell growth and proliferation.
  1. Effective Treatment: Xalkori has been shown to be effective in targeting and treating ALK-positive NSCLC, improving progression-free survival rates.
  2. Oral Administration: It is available in capsule form, making it easier to administer compared to intravenous treatments.
  3. FDA Approved: It has received FDA approval, ensuring it has undergone rigorous testing for safety and efficacy.
  4. Patient Assistance Programs: Various programs are available to help patients afford the medication, such as Pfizer’s Oncology Together Co-Pay Savings Program​ 
  5. High Cost: The medication is very expensive, with prices for a 60-capsule supply ranging from around $5,579 to over $9,300 depending on the supplier .
  6. Side Effects: Common side effects include vision problems, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue. More severe effects can include liver problems and interstitial lung disease​.
  7. Specific Genetic Marker Required: It is only effective for patients with the ALK gene mutation, limiting its use to a specific subset of lung cancer patients.
  8. Potential for Drug Interactions: Xalkori can interact with other medications, necessitating careful management and consultation with healthcare providers.
Price Comparison:
  • U.S. Prices: The cost in the U.S. is about $5,579.33 for a 60-capsule supply​ (Drugs.com)​.
  • International Prices: Prices can vary significantly internationally. For example, in some countries, the cost per capsule can be around $155.21, bringing a 60-capsule supply to about $9,312.84​ (PharmacyChecker.com)​.
  • India: In India, the price may be lower, but specifics on the 200 mg dosage were not detailed. Typically, medications sourced from India can be significantly cheaper.
In summary, while Xalkori is a highly effective treatment for a specific type of lung cancer, its high cost and side effect profile are notable considerations. Patients should explore patient assistance programs to help manage the financial burden and discuss potential side effects and interactions with their healthcare providers.
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