As our understanding of human biology progresses, pharmaceutical companies are developing breakthrough drugs that radically change our life expectancy. We are seeing significant advances in our ability to treat even the most difficult and historically unresponsive cancers. Although these developments are encouraging, the potential scope of application and treatment models are challenging some countries’ ability to pay; no longer are therapeutics hitting one percent to three percent of the total population but rather a third to a half. And an increase in combined treatment approaches only complicates matters. This is particularly germane to cancer treatments where a paradigm shift in disease management risks putting an insurmountable financial burden on public and private health insurers.
In this context, Accenture and the U.S. National Cancer Institute held an event at the ASCO Annual Meeting to debate the cost and value of current and future therapies. Co-chaired by industry and academic leaders, two parallel workshops debated these issues in depth.