ASCO: More about investors than patients?

  • The global market for oncology therapeutic medicines will reach as much as $200 billion by 2022, averaging 10 to 13 percent growth over the next five years, with the U.S. market reaching as much as $100 billion by 2022, averaging 12 to 15 percent growth.
  • Spending on cancer drugs has doubled over the past five years.
  • The average cost of a new drug released in 2017 was $150,000.
  • Cancer drug costs are expected to double again by 2022.
  • While cancer rates and rates of death have been steadily dropping, drug spending will go up.

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The increase in cancer drug prices is harming our patients and our health care system

  • Americans paid twice as much as Canadians for health care, but they didn’t get twice the benefit, according to a new study of patients with advanced colorectal cancer who lived, in some cases, mere miles from each other.
  • The increase in cancer drug prices in the last 15 years has many contributing factors and is harming our patients and our health care system.
  • With typical out-of-pocket expenses of 20% to 30%, the financial burden of cancer treatment would be $20,000 to 30,000 a year, nearly half of the average annual household income in the United States. Many patients (estimated 10% to 20%) may decide not to take the treatment or may compromise significantly on the treatment plan. Source: Journal of Oncology Practice

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What’s three more months of life worth?

  • The cost of new anti-cancer drugs increased more than fivefold from 2006 to 2015.
  • Anticancer medications account for the lion’s share of global drug spending, and the average price per month of these drugs is known to have more than doubled in recent years
  • Cost is not connected with benefit, and cost is going up quickly, and benefit is highly variable.
  • ASCO and other groups are supporting efforts to make cancer drug costs relate to their effectiveness.

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Patients don’t care who is responsible for high drug costs

KEY TAKEAWAY: When the head of the FDA saysfar too many patients find themselves in “a financial no-man’s land” because of shouldering the costs of cancer medications” you know that something is terribly wrong.  The fact is that patients and caregivers couldn’t give a damn about who is responsible for high drug costs they just want to empty life savings because of treatments. Continue reading

The average cost of new cancer drugs in 2016 was $172,000

KEY TAKEAWAY:  Wells Fargo analysts, in a new report, discovered that the average sale, rebate and allowance (SRA) offered to payers has jumped from 28% to 41% since 2012.  But even with the discount(s) list prices remain high. According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, the average cost of new cancer drugs approved by the FDA in 2016 was $172,000.  Continue reading

ASCO: Oncology drug prices expected to increase 20% per year for next seven years

KEY TAKEWAY: Per ASCO “specialty medications accounted for 37% of drug spending in 2015, and projections are that they will account for 50% of all drug spending by 2018. Oncology drug pricing is expected to increase at a rate of 20% per year for the next several years. Health care expenditures, including drug costs, have become a major cause of personal bankruptcy, and financial toxicity has become a common term used to describe the financial distress that accompanies the treatment of patients with cancer”.  Continue reading