Web Desk — Newer cancer drugs that enlist the body’s immune system are improving the odds of survival, but competition between them is not reining in prices that can now top $250,000 a year.
— Reuters Tech News (@ReutersTech) April 3, 2017
The drugs’ success for patients is the result of big bets in cancer therapy made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, Merck & Co Inc and Roche Holding AG, among others in big pharma. The industry’s pipeline of cancer drugs expanded by 63 percent between 2005 and 2015, according to the QuintilesIMS Institute, and a good number are reaching the market.
The global market for cancer immunotherapies alone is expected to grow more than fourfold globally to $75.8 billion by 2022 from $16.9 billion in 2015, according to research firm GlobalData.
“For cancer drugs in general … it is hard for us to drive down cost,” said Steve Miller, chief medical officer at Express Scripts Holding Co, the nation’s largest manager of drug benefit plans for employers and insurers. “You don’t want to be in the position of being told to use the second best cancer drug for your child.”