Federal Panel Calls for Urgent Collaborative Action to Align Cancer Drug Prices with Value

March 13, 2018

The President’s Cancer Panel Identifies Critical Need to Minimize Financial Toxicity and Increase Affordable Access to Effective Cancer Drugs

Gary Gilliland, MD, PhD, Series Co-Chair, President and Director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

(Washington D.C., Tuesday, March 13, 2018) – The President’s Cancer Panel identifies critical need to minimize financial toxicity and increase affordable access to effective cancer drugs.

The Panel’s report, “Promoting Value, Affordability, and Innovation in Cancer Drug Treatment,” finds that while some cancer drugs have indeed been transformative, and may warrant prices that reflect their value, many new drugs do not provide benefits commensurate with their prices.

The Panel’s report concludes that rapidly rising spending on cancer drugs is unprecedented and cannot be ignored, and that public-private collaboration is critical to ensure that patients receive high-quality cancer treatment and experience the best possible health outcomes without financial toxicity.

The Panel calls for action around three guiding principles:

  1. Cancer drug prices should be aligned with their value to patients;
  2. All patients should have affordable access to appropriate cancer drugs; and
  3. Investments in science are essential to drive future innovation. 

The Panel identified six critical action items, including:

  1. Promote value-based pricing and use of cancer drugs;
  2. Enable meaningful communication about treatment options, including cost information, to support patients’ decision making;
  3. Minimize the contributions of drug costs to financial toxicity for cancer patients and their families;
  4. Stimulate and maintain competition in the generic and biosimilar cancer drug markets;
  5. Ensure that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has appropriate resources to assess cancer drug safety and efficacy efficiently; and
  6. Invest in biomedical research to create a strong foundation for developing innovative, high-value cancer drugs.

For more information, visit: https://prescancerpanel.cancer.gov/.

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