Orally administered cancer drug prices have increased since 2000, becoming an issue for many cancer patients. The study claiming a steep price for cancer drugs was published on Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Pills to treat cancer have become dramatically more expensive as soon as they come out to the market, than other drugs launched 15 years ago. In addition, the prices of those drugs frequently increase fast after their first year on the market.
This form of cancer drug first was first introduced in 2014 and the study found that a month of treatment with these drugs is six times more expensive than other types of drugs. In comparison with drugs introduced in 2000, cancer drugs are way too overpriced, even after adjusting the prices for the inflation.
T4: New cancer drugs cost >$100,000 per year—unaffordable for so many.What can be done to make benefits of research affordable? #abcDrBchat
— Dr. Richard Besser (@abcDrBchat) April 19, 2016
The average price for drugs from the 2000 was about $1,869 per month, and the price of drugs approved in 2014 is $11,325 on average per month. That’s a six-fold increase in the price of drug treatment.
The study’s author Stacie Dusetzina, of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and assistant professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health made a statement on the matter. On Thursday, she said that scientists have been trying to create anti-cancer drugs to make patients’ lives better, but the rising of the prices may make it more difficult or nearly impossible for them to access these new therapies.
Price per benefit, that’s how it should be, says Venook
Dr. Alan Venook, an oncologist at the University of California, San Francisco, notes that many of these drugs are not even cures. Therefore, Venook says the best way to make the situation better is to approve policies that require companies to set prices based on how much benefit certain drugs provide.
@LeaveittoPsmith lots of paradoxes in life
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) September 22, 2015
He gave the idea of making the new drugs free for two months for cancer patients, and if it turns out to be effective, then companies could start charging for it.
Dr. Venook also added that the increase of the cancer treatment prices not only affect the patients, but the doctors as well, since they want their patients to have the best, but prescribing the latest drug on the market may not be the solution cause it can affect them too much economically, especially if they are not sure if the pills are going to work on a particular patient.