Evaluating cost-effectiveness: An essential part of new cancer drug approvals

Consider value (benefits against costs), based on good data, when making cancer drug-funding decisions

Cancer drug costs have risen sharply over the last decade and are expected to continue rising, as addressed by Expert Lead Claire de Oliveira from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. These high drug costs can limit patients’ access to effective treatments. When making drug-funding decisions, cost-effectiveness must be considered along with other important factors, like clinical benefits, patient values and budget impact. Analyzing cost-effectiveness helps weigh a new treatment’s incremental benefits against its incremental costs.

Lung cancer treatment offers a good example of the costs. Treatment options and monthly drug costs have risen sharply over the last decade.

Despite the rise in treatment costs, the overall 5-year survival of patients with lung cancer has remained stubbornly below 20%.

This journal article analyzes a new lung cancer treatment’s cost-effectiveness. The treatment can potentially delay lung cancer progression by 0.1 month (11.0 months versus 10.9 months).

Better understanding cost-effectiveness analysis will help oncologists design clinical studies that capture needed data. That data could lead to more informed drug-funding decisions and improved access to effective treatments.

Read the full article Evaluating Cost-Effectiveness: An Essential Part of New Cancer Drug Approvals