4 Dec 2015

Study finds wildly different cancer drug prices

From Nine To Noon, 9:09 am on 4 December 2015

The first ever comparison study into the sky-rocketing prices of cancer drugs has shown that costs vary wildly from country to country. In high income countries (Europe, Australia, and New Zealand) the difference between the highest priced and lowest priced country varies between 28 % and 388%. Lead author, Dr Zaheer Ud-Din Babar from the University of Auckland's School of Pharmacy says it shows major shortcomings in pricing policy, and supports calls for greater transparency of funded drugs. The research comes amid heated discussion over Pharmac's decision not to fund the expensive melanoma drug, Keytruda, and the increasing budget challenges faced by health systems. In Australia, public spending on cancer drugs rose from 65 million (Australian) dollars in 1999/2000 to 466 million dollars in 2011/12.