Cancer cases are increasing and the cost of its treatment continues to rise. According to a report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, the global spending on cancer treatment has reached $100 billion in 2014, where as it was $75 billion in 2010.
The report was released on Tuesday.
The report also revealed that the cost of treatment amounts to 10.3 percent increase from 2013. The figure represents 10.8 percent of the total medical cost in the world, which includes drugs to treat anemia and nausea.
The report also suggests that the spending will continue at a 6 to 8 percent growth rate, and it will amount to $117 billion to $147 billion by 2018.
Expensive treatments available in the developed markets are considered one of the important reasons for the increase in cost of cancer treatment.
“While we’ve made progress we still have a long way to go to win the war on cancer (…) It takes time for new cancer treatments that may be initially adopted in a small number of academic medical centers to make their ways to community oncologists throughout the country. We should look into how we can accelerate that,” said Murray Aitken, Executive Director of the IMS Institute.
There were 45 new cancer drugs introduced in the market between 2010 and 2014. 10 drugs from 45 were introduced in 2014 alone.
Two of the new drugs, called immunotherapies, utilize patient’s immune system to cure the disease. The drugs are Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo and Merck’s Keytruda. The treatment costs $12,500 per month.
Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit management group in US, is going to use the same procedure which they have used last year for hepatitis C medicine, where it will pit available cancer medicines against each other to produce discounts for patients.
The report reveals though the treatment is costly, it has led to improvements in survival rate of patients.
IMS reported, “Although the changes are incremental year to year, cumulatively, more patients are gaining years of life.”
Patients with prostate cancer has experience an 18 percent improvement in their five year survival rate between 1990 and 2010.
Patients with liver cancer have seen an improvement by 12 percent; breast cancer patients have seen an improvement by 8 percent.