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Top Line: Do European countries get a better “value” for new cancer drugs than the US?
The Study: Overall, advances in drug therapy have brought both unprecedented treatment outcomes and unprecedented costs to cancer treatment. And while we all know about the high cost of new cancer drugs, do the prices at least reflect their clinical benefit? We get the feeling you already know the answer. This cost-benefit analysis asks whether the magnitude of clinical benefit is associated with monthly cost in the US compared to four european countries (England, Switzerland, Germany, and France). Sixty-five drugs approved for solid (72%) and hematologic (28%) tumors between 2009 and 2017 were analyzed. At a median of $13,179 per month, the monthly cost of those 65 cancer drugs in the US was more than double that of all the Euro countries ($4866-$6206). And that difference in price was irrespective of clinical benefit based on both the ASCO and ESMO value frameworks. One exception was France, whose price differential was somewhat associated with benefit using the ASCO, but not the ESMO framework. In other words, “value” in global cancer drug pricing is purely economic with the US paying much more for both high- and low-benefit drugs alike.
TBL: There’s no association between the magnitude of clinical benefit of new cancer drugs and their monthly cost, with the US reliably paying around double that of other countries. | Vokinger, Lancet Oncol 2020