ORLANDO, Fla., May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Expensive new cancer
drugs treating increasing numbers of patients could drive cancer
drug spending by as much as 15 percent a year through 2013. At this
accelerated rate, oncology drugs will likely rise to the second or
third largest trend-driving category by 2015, following only
diabetes and central nervous system (CNS) treatments, according to
the newly released 2011 Medco Drug Trend Report which tracks
utilization and spending.
Although the incidence of some types of cancers may be
decreasing, with better detection the overall numbers of cancers
reported in an aging population has increased significantly.
Fortunately, due to advanced treatment, the number of U.S. cancer
survivors is expected to increase by more than 30 percent — from
13.8 million in 2010 to 18 million by 2020.
This has heightened demand for oncology specialty drugs –
targeted therapies that have increased 6.7 percent according to the
report by Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS). The drug trend
for specialty cancer treatments reached 21.2 percent, due primarily
to unit cost increases of 13.7 percent.
“New cancer drugs reaching the market are expected to double
during the next several years,” said Dr. Glen Stettin, Medco’s
chief medical officer. “Early diagnosis, evidence-based treatment
and enhanced coordinated care have essentially turned some forms of
the condition into chronic illnesses that can be managed
longer-term. Continued innovation, including companion diagnostic
or pharmacogenomic testing, can help ensure the right person is
getting the right drug at the proper dose and reduce waste.
However, due to the high cost and extended time patients may need
for treatment, using these latest design management tools is
With the use of many newly introduced specialty drugs reaching
market in recent years, oncology drug pric