Addressing the high price of anticancer drugs

The development of new effective anticancer therapies has been accompanied by disproportionate increases in the costs of these treatments. The authors of a journal article reflect on this problem and present potential solutions.

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As editors of a clinical oncology journal, we read every day about the financial implications of the latest therapeutic advances for patients with cancer. This complex situation is well known by clinicians, members of regulatory bodies, representatives of pharma companies and, last but not least, the patients themselves. The general feeling is that the current trend in drug pricing is unsustainable but that, at the same time, nothing is happening to reverse it. Information about the imbalance between drug development cost and treatment price tags is increasingly available in the literature. In an article in Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, Vinay Prasad, Kevin De Jesús and Sham Mailankody take a step further and present potential solutions for this problem. In their article, these authors open a debate in which many other voices need to be heard. Real solutions require the engagement and commitment of all stakeholders, although we cannot predict whether and when the necessary changes will happen; however, this article aims to begin the dialogue, in a convincing and positive tone.

By Diana Romero, Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology


Image: © Prasad et al. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 14, 381–390 (2017)

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