Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cancer Spend To Eclipse $110 Billion Worldwide, In 2015; Was $100 Billion In 2014: IMS

This narrative has been repeated everywhere, of late -- so I'll belatedly note it, for the record. And it is correct. There will be much more spent this year, and next -- on oncology. [For the sake of completeness, here -- I should note that I personally am very safely predicting the $110 billion in 2015 figure -- IMS is only reporting historical 2014 data at this point.]

This is decidedly good news for all the emerging immuno-oncology candidates -- Merck's plainly here included. Here's a bit from US News & World Report:

. . . .According to the Global Oncology Trend Report, released Tuesday by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, global spending on cancer medications rose 10.3 percent in 2014 to $100 billion, up from $75 billion in 2010.

"We've made huge progress from a scientific perspective in understanding cancer," says Murray Aitken, executive director of the IMS Institute, a global information and technology services company. "It's not a single disease but so many sub-diseases. ... We're at the edge of a major breakthrough in terms of cancer treatment. It's a very exciting time."

The report follows one from IMS Health released in April, which found that overall U.S. spending on drugs reached $373.9 billion in 2014 – a record high. This is largely attributable to the kinds of drugs on the market. Pharmaceutical companies are investing more and more in specialty medicines, such as complex, injected drugs rather than conventional treatments like pills. Spending on such specialty medicines grew 26.5 percent and accounted for one-third of medicine spending, up from 23 percent of the total spent five years ago. . . .

Spending for really excellent outcomes (significantly longer survivals -- or outright remissions) always makes sense, in my estimation. Onward -- it is an exciting time to be alive, indeed.

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