High cost of cancer drugs not always justified


Do high prices of some cancer medicines have a higher benefit than those drugs with lower prices? An international study has concluded that, in general, there is no correlation between costs of a cancer drugs and their clinical benefit.

The scientists analyzed the costs of cancer drugs in Switzerland, Germany, England, France and the United States. The prices of 65 new oncology drugs to treat solid tumors and various types of blood cancer were adjusted to calculate the monthly treatment costs for a standard patient. In a second stage, the researchers investigated whether there is a link between monthly treatment costs and the clinical benefit of cancer drugs for solid tumors. The study clearly shows that, in general, for Switzerland, Germany, England and the United States, there is no association between clinical benefit of a cancer drugs and their prices.It’s also clear that the prices of cancer drugs in the US are significantly higher than in the four European countries, with Americans paying on average approximately twice as much for the same drug.This is because drug pricing in the US is dictated by the free, unregulated market. In Europe, on the other hand, national authorities negotiate prices with manufacturers.The pricing of cancer drugs is only partially justified. Drugs that are less effective should be cheaper than those with high efficacy. National authorities should take greater account of the clinical benefits of drugs when negotiating prices, and therapies that provide high clinical benefit should be prioritized in price negotiations.

Does anyone have any doubt that health is a business? I do not! I believe in the benefit of research, but not in the usury of that research.