As treatments improve and cancer survival rates increase, global spending on medication was slightly over $100 billion in 2014, a substantial increase over the $75 billion spent in 2010. This was one of the many takeaways from the Global Oncology Trend Report 2015, a statistical report released yesterday by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
“The increased prevalence of most cancers, earlier treatment initiation, new medicines and improved outcomes are all contributing to the greater demand for oncology therapeutics around the world,” said IMS Health senior vice president Murray Aitken in a statement. He also serves as executive director of IMS’ Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
According to IMS’ stats, America has the biggest share of cancer spending, contributing 42.2 percent, while Europe, primarily France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, is not that far behind. In 2010, these five markets combined for a 13.3 percent share of total drug spending, with this figure going up to 28 percent. The United States’ total drug spending share – not just for cancer drugs – also went up over the same period, rising from 10.7 percent to 11.3 percent.
Between 2010 and 2014, pharmaceutical firms have produced a total of 45 new drugs for 53 users. Ten new drugs, including five biologic therapies, were released in the global market in 2014. As for the variables that drove the rise in cancer drug spending, earlier diagnosis, longer treatments, and more effective drugs were all contributors as cited by IMS. Survival rates, on the other hand, have been rising steadily over the past two decades.
“We’ve made huge progress from a scientific perspective in understanding cancer,” Aitken continued in his statement. “It’s not a single disease but so many sub-diseases. We’re at the edge of a major breakthrough in terms of cancer treatment. It’s a very exciting time.”