Protecting Cancer Patients from Rising Drug Costs and the Risk of Financial Catastrophe


The soaring costs of cancer drugs and treatment have prompted investigators to examine the underlying causes of declining R&D productivity and design effective strategies to respond to new challenges stemming from recent scientific advances in life sciences. Issues involve paying increased attention to multiple factors such as raising R&D productivity through research collaboration, designing approaches to drug pricing based on the therapeutic value and cost effectiveness of new drugs, considering and evaluating the merits of alternatives to the existing patents system, invigorating the drug approval process with a view to expediting the approval and use of new drugs, and reforming the public health drug benefits plans in order to protect patients and families from financial ruination.

Additional critical issues warranting high priority consideration include exploring ways to fulfill the unmet needs of the people ranked low in social-economic status, including the unemployed, uninsured, poor, and those engaged in non-standard employment contracts.