World Cancer Day: Pricing of oncology medicines negatively impacts access to treatments, says GlobalData

February 4, 2019 marks this year’s World Cancer Day but, in the midst of debate about the high cost of cancer drugs, it raises the question as to whether governments, payers, pharmaceutical companies and providers will individually step up in 2019 to improve access to cancer treatment.

Tajekesa Chapman, Oncology and Hematology Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on this situation:

“A recent survey by GlobalData found that drug pricing and reimbursement constraints will have the greatest negative impact on the pharmaceutical industry in 2019. Advances in cancer treatments, such as immunotherapies, personalized and precision medicines have been associated with a corresponding rise in the cost of cancer treatment, despite having uncertain clinical value. The level of uncertainty on the long-term benefits and the cost effectiveness of novel oncology medicines, results in extended negotiations on pricing and reimbursement and delays patient access.

“For manufacturers, high costs are required to recoup R&D, production and commercialization costs in order for the innovative medicines to be commercially viable. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that high prices can impair countries’ abilities to provide coverage of essential cancer treatments and so negatively impact the availability, affordability and access to treatments. Drug pricing pressures will ultimately hinder growth and so a combined effort from governments, payers, pharmaceutical companies and providers is required to reassess pricing policies and strategies.

“World Cancer Day should not stop at individual action but remain a call-to-action to all those involved throughout the value chain to increase collaboration and tackle the issue of high medicines pricing.’’

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