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New alarm at rising cancer drug costs

Friday April 27th, 2018

The cost of anti-cancer drugs has been increasing at a significantly greater rate than their clinical benefits, according to a new analysis.

A US-based analysis has used a European measure of benefit as one of its criteria for assessing drugs.

Reporting in the Journal of Oncology Practice, researchers found a 21% annual increase in drug price costs – leading to mean costs rising from more than $30,000 dollars in 2006 to $161,000 dollars in 2015.

This was assessed against the European Society of Medical Oncology Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale.

Following the analysis, ESMO called for more work to develop “sustainable” cancer care.

President Professor Josep Tabernero said: "Access to anticancer medicines is an essential component of high quality cancer care, hence affordability is crucial in providing optimal treatment and patient care.

"Other major considerations include the availability of highly trained oncologists, up-to-the-minute diagnostics, the necessary funding and frameworks in place for research, a holistic approach to cancer care incorporating supportive and palliative care, and a multidisciplinary approach to best manage and treat our patients."

Professor Elisabeth de Vries, from ESMO, added: “It is an important first step in the major and ongoing task of evaluating value in cancer care which is essential for the appropriate use of limited public funds in delivering cost-effective and more affordable cancer care."

Examining Trends in Cost and Clinical Benefit of Novel Anticancer Drugs Over Time. J Oncol Pract 30 March 2018; doi: 10.1200/JOP.17.00058.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29601250#

Tags: Cancer | Europe | General Health | North America

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