U.S. Patients Get More Cancer Drugs Access, But Pay for Privilege, Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development Study

Published: Jul 11, 2012

The U.S. approved 33% more new cancer drugs that European nations including the United Kingdom, France, and Germany between 2000 and 2011, and approved them much faster as well, according to new research released today by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. But Americans pay for their greater access to new medicines. The cancer drugs, on average, cost 9% less in Europe. Those costs are absorbed mostly by governments and insurance companies, though U.S. health plans are more likely to make patients pay, on average, 23% or more of the price. That can cost individual cancer patients. Further complicating comparisons, and not part of the study, drug companies often work to help patients with these out-of-pocket (and bank account, and mortgage) costs.

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