Prices of cancer medicines across Europe; findings and implications for the future

Category: Original Research
Author(s): , ,
Visits: 293 total, 2 today

Introduction/Objectives: There are increasing concerns among health authorities regarding the sustainability of healthcare systems with growing expenditure on medicines driven by increasing use of biological medicines including new high-priced oncology medicines. Medicine prices among European countries may be adversely affected by their population size and economic power to negotiate. This needs to be investigated alongside the implications of low-cost generic oncology medicines.
Methodology: This study analyses reimbursed prices of patented oral oncology medicines (imatinib, erlotinib and fludarabine) and explores correlations between GDP, population size, and prices, among European countries between 2013 and 2017. This builds on earlier published research regarding the pricing of oral generic oncology medicines.
Results: The prices of imatinib, erlotinib and fludarabine did vary among European countries but showed limited price erosion over time in the absence of generics. There appeared to be no correlation between population size and prices. However, higher prices were seen among countries with high GDP per capita which is a concern for lower income countries referencing these.
Discussion and Conclusion: We will likely see prices of oncology medicines converge over time as expenditure on these medicines continues growing coupled with increased scrutiny over prices and benefits of patented cancer medicines as more standard medicines lose their patents. In addition, discussions will continue regarding fair pricing for new oncology medicines taking into account production costs, actual added benefits gained and comparator costs. This is because previous research has shown substantial price reductions for oral oncology medicines (up to -97.8% for imatinib) once generics become available and prices of biosimilars are also falling.

Subscribe now to GaBI Journal to view full information of GaBI Journal published manuscripts.

Go Back Print

Leave a Reply