Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Relationship between costs and clinical benefits of new cancer medicines in Australia, France, the UK, and the US

Salas-Vega, Sebastian, Shearer, Emily and Mossialos, Elias ORCID: 0000-0001-8664-9297 (2020) Relationship between costs and clinical benefits of new cancer medicines in Australia, France, the UK, and the US. Social Science & Medicine, 258. ISSN 0277-9536

[img] Text (Relationships between costs and clinical benefits of new Cancer medicines in Australia, France, the UK and the US) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (486kB)

Identification Number: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113042


As cancer drug prices rise, it remains unclear whether the cost of new interventions is related to their beneficial impact for patients at a societal-level. Using data for 2003–2015 from the IQVIA MIDAS® dataset, the relationship between cancer drug costs and drug clinical benefits was studied in four countries with different approaches to drug pricing. Summary measures of drug clinical effects on overall survival, quality of life, and safety were obtained from a review of health technology assessments. Mean total drug costs for a full course of treatment were estimated using standard posology for each medicine and in each country. Regression analysis was used to test whether, at a societal-level, the cost of recently licensed drugs is related to their beneficial impact for patients. Across all eligible medicines, average treatment costs were lowest in France and Australia and highest in the UK and US. Compared with Australia, France, and the UK, cancer medicines were on average between 1.2 and 1.9 times more expensive in the US, where the average total per patient cost for treatment was $68,255.17. Costs for new cancer medicines are high and, at best, only weakly associated with drug clinical benefits. The strength of this relationship nevertheless varied across countries. Some new cancer drugs—particularly in the US—may be neither affordable nor clinically beneficial over existing treatments. While all countries can benefit from strategies that more robustly align price with therapeutic benefit in cancer drugs, the US stands out in its opportunity to improve both affordability and value in cancer drug treatment.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: LSE Health
Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2020 16:39
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2024 16:45

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics