Cancer drug spending tops $100 bn globally: Report

New York: Total global spending on cancer medicines including therapeutic treatments and supportive care have reached the $100-billion threshold in 2014, says a report. The report is relesed by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, a leading global information and technology services company.

Earlier diagnosis, longer treatment duration and increased effectiveness of drug therapies are contributing to rising levels of spending on medicines for cancer care says the report.

Oncology spending remains concentrated among the US and five largest European countries, which together account for 66 percent of the total market.

“While the rising prevalence of cancer and greater patient access to treatments in pharmerging nations continues to grow and now accounts for 13 percent of the market,” the findings showed.

Targeted therapies, which take aim at specific drivers of cancer, now account for almost half of total spending.

“The increased prevalence of most cancers, earlier treatment initiation, new medicines and improved outcomes are all contributing to the greater demand for oncology therapeutics around the world,” said Murray Aitken, senior vice president at IMS Health.

Forty-five new drugs for cancer hit the market between 2010 and 2014, including 10 last year alone.

Two of those are so-called immunotherapies a hot new class that harnesses the immune system to fight cancer.

They are Opdivo from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Keytruda from Merck.

Both are priced at $12,500 a month.

Innovative therapeutic classes, combination therapies and the use of biomarkers will change the landscape over the next several years, holding out the promise of substantial improvements in survival with lower toxicity for cancer patients, he added.

The study is a comprehensive review and updated perspective on the current and future clinical landscape, marketplace dynamics for oncology-related pharmaceuticals, and patient access to medicines and their value.

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