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source: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/851cd240-2b6f-11e6-bf8d-26294ad519fc.html#axzz4AoBHJM88

Price of cancer drugs vastly higher in US, according to study

Median cost of branded monthly treatment is more than three times higher than in the UK



The price of cancer drugs in the US is vastly higher than in other nations, according to new research that shines a light on how the cost of treating the life-threatening disease differs considerably depending on where the patient lives.

In the US, the median monthly price of branded cancer drugs, which are still protected by patents, was almost $8,700, compared with about $2,600 in the UK, $2,700 in Australia and $3,200 in China, according to the study, one of the largest of its kind.
 
Researchers looked at the list prices of 23 drugs, eight of which were protected by patents, including four made by Roche, such as the blockbuster medicines Herceptin and Avastin, as well as treatments marketed by Eli Lilly, Takeda, Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The study found wide differences in the retail price of drugs across six countries. The median monthly price of branded cancer medicines in India was $1,500, while in South Africa it was $1,700.

Generic copies of drugs that have lost patent protection were also more expensive in the US, according to the study, which looked at the list or “sticker” price for medicines and so did not factor in the discounts that big pharmaceutical companies tend to offer.

The research was released on Monday at the American Society of Clinical Oncologists in Chicago, the world’s largest gathering of cancer experts.

Traditionally, the conference has focused on science rather than cost but in the past two years, doctors have discussed pricing amid fears that “financial toxicity” could be hampering the battle against cancer.
 
Drug prices in the US have also become one of the main issues in the campaign for the White House, after a string of egregious price hikes by companies such as Turing Pharmaceuticals and Valeant sparked public outcry. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have each pledged to crack down on costs if elected president in November, prompting a sharp sell-off of pharmaceuticals stocks.



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