Delivering affordable cancer care in high-income countries

Richard Sullivan, Jeffrey Peppercorn, Karol Sikora, John Zalcberg, Neal J Meropol, Eitan Amir, David Khayat, Peter Boyle, Philippe Autier, Ian F Tannock, Tito Fojo, Jim Siderov, Steve Williamson, Silvia Camporesi, J Gordon McVie, Arnie D Purushotham, Peter Naredi, Alexander Eggermont, Murray F Brennan, Michael L SteinbergMark De Ridder, Susan A McCloskey, Dirk Verellen, Terence Roberts, Guy Storme, Rodney J Hicks, Peter J Ell, Bradford R Hirsch, David P Carbone, Kevin A Schulman, Paul Catchpole, David Taylor, Jan Geissler, Nancy G Brinker, David Meltzer, David Kerr, Matti Aapro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

466 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The burden of cancer is growing, and the disease is becoming a major economic expenditure for all developed countries. In 2008, the worldwide cost of cancer due to premature death and disability (not including direct medical costs) was estimated to be US$895 billion. This is not simply due to an increase in absolute numbers, but also the rate of increase of expenditure on cancer. What are the drivers and solutions to the so-called cancer-cost curve in developed countries? How are we going to afford to deliver high quality and equitable care? Here, expert opinion from health-care professionals, policy makers, and cancer survivors has been gathered to address the barriers and solutions to delivering affordable cancer care. Although many of the drivers and themes are specific to a particular field-eg, the huge development costs for cancer medicines-there is strong concordance running through each contribution. Several drivers of cost, such as over-use, rapid expansion, and shortening life cycles of cancer technologies (such as medicines and imaging modalities), and the lack of suitable clinical research and integrated health economic studies, have converged with more defensive medical practice, a less informed regulatory system, a lack of evidence-based sociopolitical debate, and a declining degree of fairness for all patients with cancer. Urgent solutions range from re-engineering of the macroeconomic basis of cancer costs (eg, value-based approaches to bend the cost curve and allow cost-saving technologies), greater education of policy makers, and an informed and transparent regulatory system. A radical shift in cancer policy is also required. Political toleration of unfairness in access to affordable cancer treatment is unacceptable. The cancer profession and industry should take responsibility and not accept a substandard evidence base and an ethos of very small benefit at whatever cost; rather, we need delivery of fair prices and real value from new technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-980
Number of pages48
JournalLancet Oncology
Volume12
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

Keywords

  • united states
  • health services misuse
  • health expenditures
  • humans
  • health services research
  • europe
  • health policy
  • cost savings
  • health services accessibility
  • models, economic
  • health care costs
  • socioeconomic factors
  • neoplasms
  • health care reform
  • cost-benefit analysis
  • insurance, health
  • australia
  • delivery of health care, integrated
  • healthcare disparities

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