Monday, September 26, 2011

Cancer treatment becoming unaffordable in many developed countries

An explosion of new technologies and treatments for cancer coupled with a rapid rise in cases of the disease worldwide mean cancer care is rapidly becoming unaffordable in many developed countries, oncology experts said on Monday. 

With costs ballooning, a radical shift in thinking is needed to ensure fairer access to medicines and address tricky questions like balancing extra months of life for patients against costs of a new drug, technology or care plan, they said. [...]

The Lancet report pointed to Dendreon's Provenge prostate cancer treatment -- which costs more than $100,000 for a three-dose course and was found in trials to improve survival by several months in patients with few other options. [...]

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