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FDA Approves New Combo Therapy for Melanoma

Yervoy and Opdivo previously approved individually to treat melanoma

FRIDAY, Oct. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new treatment for melanoma that combines two cancer drugs has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The therapy for advanced melanoma includes the drugs Yervoy (ipilimumab) and Opdivo (nivolumab), the Wall Street Journal reported.

Each medication has a different mechanism of action; both drugs were previously approved individually to treat melanoma.

The new combined treatment will cost more than $250,000 per patient for the first full year of treatment, according to maker Bristol-Myers Squibb. There are concerns that the high cost could prevent some patients from receiving the therapy.

"What we don't want to see is that cost becomes a factor in people getting the best kind of care that's available," Tim Turnham, Ph.D., executive director of the nonprofit Melanoma Research Foundation, told the Wall Street Journal.

Health Highlights: Oct. 2, 2015

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