Musings on value frameworks in cancer


Drug pricing is all over the news lately. Rarely does a day go by without seeing headlines like “The inexplicable and relentless rise of cancer drug prices” (Washington Post, 2 May 2016) or “Doctors Object to High Cancer-Drug prices” (Wall Street Journal, 23 July 2015). These are only a couple of examples of news outlets proclaiming that spending on cancer therapies is unsustainable. Implicit in the panic about cancer drug spending is the fundamental value question: “What is a cancer therapy worth?”

Several physician organizations have begun to question the relative value of cancer therapies and to that end have attempted to quantify the clinical benefit offered by cancer therapies based on clinical trial data. Prominent among these physician organizations are the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). Each of the aforementioned organizations has developed its own version of a value framework.

Click here to view the full article in Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research.