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$100 Billion Spent On Cancer Drugs Last Year

cancer drugs

Cancer drugs accounted for $100 billion worth of global spending across all medications last year; a 10.3 percent increase over last year and considerably more than the $75 billion spent in 2010.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the rise in spending was attributed to patients receiving earlier diagnoses, longer treatment duration’s and improved therapy effectiveness. Targeted therapies now account for nearly 50 percent of total spending, growing at an average rate of 14.6 percent annually over the past five years.

The report also follows one that was released in April, which found that the overall U.S. spending on drugs reached over $373 billion in 2014 – a record high. US News reported that the increase is attributable to the different kinds of drugs that are available on the market. Pharmaceutical companies are investing more into specialty medicines, such as complex, injected drugs rather than conventional treatments like pills.

The spending rates are increasing because the medicines for treating cancer are not only more expensive, but are better as well. People live longer under treatment, and increased screenings have led to earlier diagnoses rates among patients. Today, two out of three Americans survive at least five years after diagnoses. In 1990, just over half lived that long.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Murray Aitken” author_title=”executive director of the IMS Institute”]

While we’ve made progress we still have a long way to go to win the war on cancer (…) It takes time for new cancer treatments that may be initially adopted in a small number of academic medical centers to make their ways to community oncologists throughout the country. We should look into how we can accelerate that.


In a recent report covered here at Immortal News, instances of breast cancer will reportedly see a 50 percent increase come the year 2030.

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