The field of oncology continues to see increasingly innovative treatments and increasingly higher prices, according to IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science’s recent report Global Oncology Trends: Innovation, Expansion and Disruption.
Murray Aitken, IQVIA senior vice president and executive director of the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, called 2018 "a banner year of new drugs being launched" during a May 22 media call. 2017 saw 14 cancer therapies launch, all of which targeted therapies and 11 with breakthrough therapy status.
According to the report, the programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) and programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitors represent a paradigm shift in the treatment of cancer. Since the therapies first entered the U.S. market in 2014, their use has expanded rapidly, and in 2017, they were used to treat patients with 23 tumor types.
Since 2012, 78 new cancer therapies treating 24 tumor types have launched; many of them have been approved for more than one indication. Within that same time period, spending on cancer treatments has doubled within the United States, with 2017 spending reaching almost $50 billion. The costs are expected to double again by 2022.
As oncology drug prices have risen, so too has the average coupon amount for oral oncolytics. In 2013, the average amount was $302, with 18% of prescriptions using coupons. In 2017, 37% of prescriptions used a coupon, and the average amount was $526.
Within the oncology drug pipeline, there were more than 700 molecules in late-stage development last year; almost 90% are targeted therapies. Last year also saw 754 biomarker trials, an increase from 672 in 2016.
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