A new study released on Monday reveals that Americans pay highest prices in the world for drugs to cure cancers, but again the treatments are least affordable in lower income countries.
The study of cancer drug prices in seven countries, without any discounts or rebates, was presented at the annual meeting of American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.
Although, India and South Africa have the lowest drug prices,the medicines are still least affordable in India because of the percentage of wealth adjusted for the cost of living, as reported by Medical Daily.
How the study was conducted
Researchers from a Medical Centre in Tikvah, Israel calculated the monthly drug doses for 15 generic and eight brand-name cancer drugs used to treat a wide range of cancer types and its different stages. Prices of the drug in Australia, India, China, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Israel and the US were obtained from government websites.
Prices in other countries
The researchers of this study used a country’s gross domestic product and cost of living statistics from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to estimate the affordability of the drug price. In India, the average monthly price one has to spend for branded drugs is around Rs 1,01,000, while In the US, it is around Rs 5,80,000. For generic drugs, the median price in India is also one of the lowest at Rs 10,600.
It is most affordable in Australia where generic drugs are priced at 3 per cent of “domestic product per capita at purchasing power parity”. In China, the study found generic drug prices were 48 percent. In India, the cost of generics was 33 percent of that measure.
The study also estimates that the worldwide spending on cancer medicines wil exceed $150 billion by 2020, driven by the frequency of cancers among people and more expensive new therapies that are coming to help the immune system to attack tumors.