An Australia government proposal to trim the national drug-coverage budget for innovative drugs by 5%, or U.S.$2.36 billion, has invited a juggernaut of industry opposition already descending on the parliament. The reductions are aimed at the nation's leading drugs, including those for cancer.
A recent analysis by National Institutes of Health researchers found that cancer drug prices aren't exactly linked to drug results. In fact, the study concludes, drugmakers are simply charging "what the market will bear."
England's Cancer Drugs Fund is backtracking in its decision to remove certain treatments from its list of covered drugs, agreeing to keep Novartis' cancer med Afinitor for two of the three indications for which it was supposed to be removed.
Now that Valeant has officially nabbed Dendreon's cancer vaccine Provenge, the Canadian drugmaker will have to nurse the treatment to health.
The U.K.'s cost gatekeeper is notoriously strict when it comes to approving drugs, shooting down meds based on strict cost-effectiveness standards or saddling them with restrictions. But cancer drugs could face the toughest road ahead, as a new report shows that the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence is less likely to green-light the meds compared to other classes of drugs.
Analysts and doctors hailed the arrival of Merck's Keytruda, the first cancer drug in the U.S. to block the PD-1 pathway--a powerful new way to mobilize patients' immune systems to fight their disease. Then came this news: Merck said Keytruda (pembrolizumab) would cost $12,500 per patient per month, or $150,000 per year.
In cancer drug development, immunotherapies are hot, with none more closely watched than Bristol-Myers Squibb's nivolumab. Now, we have a window into the drug's future. What that glimpse tells us is that outsize cancer drug prices are about to rise even higher.
Political shilly-shallying about the cost of drugs has to end, the chief of the U.K.'s cost-effectiveness agency says. Government officials and politicians need to be up front with the public about one stark fact: The country's health service just can't afford every drug that can help patients.
Why do cancer drugs cost so much? We all know the stock answer--because companies need to recoup their development costs. Whether we believe it is something else, as Peter Bach of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes writes in Forbes.
Authorities in Europe have added two Roche cancer drugs to their list of stolen meds that wholesalers and healthcare providers should be on the lookout for. That brings the tally to 5 drugs that the European Medicines Agency says should be closely examined for signs of tampering.