A group of academic researchers has demanded an end to cancer medicines costing more than $100,000 a year and proposed a new model of low-cost drug development that would capitalize on recent advances in science.The spiralling cost of cancer medicines is a growing concern for doctors and their patients, many of whom struggle to pay for new medicines that often cost $10,000 a month.
Sky-high prices have made oncology hugely profitable, with IMS Health forecasting global cancer drug sales of at least $150 billion by 2020. Scientists, however, believe today’s prices are simply not sustainable as more and more people need treatment.
Writing in the journal Cell on Thursday, European and U.S. experts laid out a blueprint for reining in costs by increasing the role of academic research groups, working alongside new kinds of private companies, in the development of new drugs. Rather than simply licensing discoveries to Big Pharma, academic groups should in future consider working with smaller companies that commit to capping prices, low-cost generic drug companies or non-profit organizations, they said.