TRENTON, N.J. – Cancer drugs predictably cost much more in the U.S. than in poor countries and even other wealthy nations, but a study shows they are less affordable in some developing countries despite the lower price.
Relative to their ability to pay, the research released Monday shows cancer patients in China and India face much higher prices than wealthier U.S. patients. Australia had the most affordable prices, for both cancer medicines under patent and less-expensive generics.
The pilot study examined list prices for eight patented cancer drugs and 15 less-expensive generic ones in seven countries.
Net prices, after the discounts manufacturers usually give payers, weren’t available. Also, the countries have varying government and private health insurance programs, so how much of the costs patients bear is unknown.