Published on 29/09/11 at 09:49am
NICE has blamed the pharma industry’s ‘inefficient’ and increasingly costly R&D model for the rising price of cancer drugs.
NICE chairman Sir Micheal Rawlins and director of NICE International UK Dr Kalipso Chalkidou used an editorial in The Lancet Oncology to criticise the growing costs of clinical trials.
They say that over the past 40 years the median monthly cost at launch (and adjusted to 2007 prices), has risen from less than $100 in 1965-69 to more than $5,000 in 2005-9.
The authors believe this is down to the “escalating costs and inefficiencies of clinical trials”, coupled with additional burdens imposed by drug regulators such as the FDA.
“The sums spent on research and development have increased three times over the past two decades but, as judged by the number of drugs licensed per dollar of research and development, the innovative performance of the drug industry has declined,” Rawlins and Chalkidou say.
As a solution to the problem, the authors point to a recent study that suggests clinical trial costs could be decreased by 40-60% without adversely affecting their quality.
They say this figure can be achieved with simple measures to reduce costs, including electronic data capture, reduction in the length of case-management forms, and modiﬁed site-management practices.
The latter should include greater use of statistical techniques to detect fraud, rather than over-reliance on site visits by regulators and sponsors, they add.
Pharma pricing needs more scrutiny
NICE was responding to a new report in The Lancet Oncology that estimates the annual cost of new cancer drugs rose to £185 billion ($286 billion) in 2009 in high-income countries.
The report, authored by 37 leading researchers, criticised both this growing cost and bodies such as NICE for delaying new cancer treatments from reaching the market.
In response NICE said: “Rather than criticise organisations such as NICE for declining reimbursement on grounds of cost-effectiveness, clinicians and patient advocates should start challenging pharmaceutical companies about the high prices they seek for products with modest benefits.”
In their final note, Rawlins and Chalkidou said that the focus should not be on high-income countries: “We should all be more concerned about the difficulties facing low and middle income countries in accessing affordable cancer care, rather than constantly focusing on the problems facing developed countries.”
Thursday, September 29, 2011
NICE blames pharma R&D model for spiralling cancer drug costs | InPharm