Global Oncology Trend Report a Review of 2015 and Outlook to 2020

In this report, we share our updated perspective on some of the trends we have observed in 2015, including new treatment options, availability of cancer treatments, costs of oncology therapeutics and supportive care drugs, distribution of cancer drugs, and some of the dynamics that are specific to the U.S. as well as an outlook to 2020.

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Summary

The oncology landscape is evolving rapidly, driven by new science bringing treatment options for an expanded number of patients and redefining cancer as a large number of narrowly defined diseases. Most health systems are struggling to adapt and embrace this evolution, in particular the regulatory systems, diagnostic and treatment infrastructure, and financing mechanisms that are required to meet the needs of populations.

Over the past five years, 70 new oncology treatments have been launched and are being used to treat over 20 different tumor types. However, most of these drugs are not yet available in most countries, and even when they are registered, they may not be reimbursed.

The total cost of cancer therapeutics and medicines used in supportive care – measured at the ex-manufacturer price level before the application of rebates or other price concessions – reached $107 billion in 2015, representing an increase in constant dollars of 11.5% over the prior year. Not surprisingly, payers are seeking assurance of the value that result from their expenditure on these drugs and the associated services required for their appropriate use. This tension can be expected to be amplified over the next five years as a strong pipeline of clinically distinctive therapies reaches a growing number of patients around the world.

Key Findings

Over Twenty Tumor Types Are Being Treated With New Medicines That Have Been Launched in The Past Five Years

  • From 2011 to 2015, 70 oncology treatments have been launched for over 20 uses.
  • Many of these new agents are being researched further and will likely be approved for subsequent indications, providing therapeutic options to additional patients.

The Pipeline of Oncology Drugs in Clinical Development has Expanded by 63% Over the Past Ten Years  

  • Over 586 molecules are in clinical development, up 63% over the past 10 years, with targeted agents making up 87% of the current pipeline.
  • Particular focus is being placed on targeted therapies that use gene marker tests to indicate a greater likelihood of tumor response, or amplify the patient’s own immune response to target the cancer.
  • A diverse set of over 500 companies are actively engaged in late phase oncology R&D, including most leading global companies and many newcomers.

Global Costs of Oncology Therapeutics and Supportive Care Drugs Increased 11.5% in 2015 to $107 Billion

  • The total global cost of cancer medicines rose at a compound annual growth rate of 7.4% in the past five years, which is slightly slower than the 8.3% growth recorded in the previous five years.
  • The cost of therapeutic oncology medicines increased at a compound annual growth rate of 9.8%, while the cost of supportive care treatments increased only 0.7%.

Oncology Cost Growth is Expected in the 7.5% to 10.5% Range Annually Through 2020, When Global Oncology Costs Will Exceed $150 Billion

  • Higher costs will be driven by the wider usage of new products, especially immunotherapies, in developed markets such as the U.S. and the five major European countries.
  • Newer therapies with increased survival benefits will allow for longer patient treatment, resulting in more lines of therapy and treatment of patients who might otherwise not have been appropriate for therapy.
  • Patent expiries and biosimilar competition will contribute to lower costs but will be offset by increased prevalence, diagnosis rates and treatment rates.

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In this report, we share our updated perspective on some of the trends we have observed in 2015, including new treatment options, availability of cancer treatments, costs of oncology therapeutics and supportive care drugs, distribution of cancer drugs, and some of the dynamics that are specific to the U.S. as well as an outlook to 2020.

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