Sector News

Cancer costs are up—but there's more to the story

June 2, 2017
Life sciences

The cost of treating cancer has increased over the past few years—there’s no denying that. But there’s more to that increase than meets the eye. In other words? It’s not just about prices.

Global spending on oncology treatments and supportive care drugs hit $113 billion in 2016, up from $107 billion in 2015. And over the past five years, the total global cost of cancer meds has swelled at a constant annual growth rate of 8.7%, according to a new report from the QuintilesIMS Institute.

That’s significantly higher than the 4.9% constant annual growth rate recorded over the previous five years, Quintiles notes.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s the U.S. that’s accounting for the lion’s share of the costs, at 46%. But it’s not just high price tags on new meds driving the higher bill, Quintiles notes. Better drugs that help patients live longer mean patients stay on therapy longer, too—and that ups the cost of treatment.

“Two-thirds of growth in U.S. oncology costs is attributable to uptake of innovative medicines which have helped improve survival curves,” Evercore ISI analyst Umer Raffat pointed out in a note to clients.

While the U.S. may be eating up the bulk of costs, though, costs are growing at a comparable rate to its 11% in other parts of the world. Europe’s big five markets—France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K.—posted a 2016 growth rate of 10.8% last year, and emerging markets checked in with a growth rate of 8.4%.

With spending rising around the globe, it’s no surprise that drugmakers are going hard in the cancer arena—and spending big money on buys to beef up in that department. Over the last couple of years, AbbVie has doled out $21 billion to buy Pharmacyclics and Pfizer has forked over $14 billion for Medivation, and as rumors swirl that Tesaro could be next up for sale, that trend could very well continue.

By Carly Helfand

Source: Fierce Pharma

Related News

February 21, 2021

Sanofi invests in health tech firm Novadiscovery, boosting trial simulation platform and COVID-19 work

Life sciences

Novadiscovery uses its so-called JINKO platform that runs disease models on virtual patients to support decision-making and de-risk clinical development.

February 21, 2021

Gilead lets local HIV community groups take the lead with $3M grant

Life sciences

The pharma is pledging $3.2 million over two years to the Human Rights Campaign, the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization in the U.S.

February 21, 2021

Biotech company funds research project on diversity

Life sciences

In collaboration with Genmab, a new anthropological postdoc project at the Department of Anthropology will now explore and help develop the company’s efforts to ensure a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Send this to a friend