Cancer drug spending hit $100 billion in 2014. Here’s why it’ll soon be much higher


Spending on cancer drugs hit an all-time high last year, reaching the $100 billion mark worldwide for the first time, and cancer treatment outlays are expected to grow even faster in coming years given improvements in cancer care and survival rates.

The landmark figures come from a recent study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. Growth in global spending on cancer drugs increased at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% over the past five years (on a constant-dollar basis). Future spending on oncology medicines through 2018 is expected to grow as much as 8% annually. That spending remains concentrated largely in the U.S. and the five largest European countries, which together account for 66% of the total market for cancer drugs.

“The increased prevalence of most cancers, earlier treatment initiation, new medicines and improved outcomes are all contributing to the greater demand for oncology therapeutics around the…

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