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High Drug Prices and Access Delays Putting Cancer Patients at Risk | PharmaPro

Cancer patients are living longer and in many cases the disease is becoming chronic rather than acute. Access to drugs that help extend life and improve quality of life, and fair prices for those drugs are therefore essential for more and more people. But patients are badly served in this respect, with delays in the availability of new treatments and incomprehensible price rises for well-established therapies, including generics, according to researchers participating in the European Cancer Congress 20171 on Saturday.

There is no value for patients if new cancer drugs are developed and approved but they are unable to benefit from them, says Markus Hartmann Ph.D., principal consultant of European Consulting and Contracting in Oncology, a regulatory affairs consultancy based in Trier, Germany.

Approval decisions for cancer drugs are currently granted centrally by the European Commission, in order to ensure that risk/benefit judgments are applied on the same basis across the European Union. But decisions on reimbursement and pricing, and therefore on access to new medicines, are taken at individual EU Member State level, and this results in major differences in the overall availability as well as the time taken before patients are able to obtain new medicines, adds co-author Daniel Dröschel, market access consultant at MArS Market Access & Pricing Strategy GmbH, Weil am Rhein (Germany).

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High Drug Prices and Access Delays Putting Cancer Patients at Risk.

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