A new, retrospective study, published in The American Journal of Managed Care, has found a significant increase in oncology cost of treatment, despite a corresponding drop in pharmaceutical revenue over the same period.
The Genentech-funded study compared data on targeted cancer therapies marketed in three distinct periods: 1997—2002, 2003—2009 and 2010—2015.
A significant increase in treatment cost was observed across the three periods studied; the episode treatment cost of drugs marketed in the 2010—2015 period was US$43,000 greater than for drugs marketed between 1997 and 2002.
Many have blamed this price inflation on pharmaceutical companies and their control over setting their drug prices.
The authors commented: “…this study provides surprising new data on declining patient populations treated by targeted cancer agents. This pattern is likely an important and, to our knowledge, previously undescribed factor that lies behind trends in revenues and rewards from innovation in oncology.”