Older cancer drugs, higher new prices.

Older cancer drugs have undergone larger price increases than newer drugs, some having had dramatic price increases. 

According to a study published in @JAMAOnc, researchers at @OHSUnews analyzed the prices of 86 FDA-approved cancer drugs between 1949 and 2008. Forty-three drugs (50%) were pre-specified as “older” (approved from 1949 to 1992); and the 43 “newer” drugs were approved from 1993 to 2008. The study used Medicare data available for Part B. Medicare Part B drugs have come to global focus under President Trump's newly proposed international-price-referencing scheme.

Prices were Average Sales Price (ASP), inflation adjusted to 2015 U.S. dollars.

Prices of the older drugs rose at a much steeper rate than those of the 43 newer drugs. The median price increase was 22.7% for older drugs compared with 6.2% for newer drugs. The percent change in cancer drug price was 43% lower for each 10-year increase in FDA approval year.

Analyzing the change in average sales price of the eight-six drugs from 2010 to 2015, 31 drugs decreased in price and 55 increased in price, after adjusting for inflation. The prices of 11 drugs more than doubled.

Increasing the prices of older cancer drugs is objectionable considering the age of the products and the likely recoupment of  investment. What is inexcusable is when price increases appear to bear no relationship to novelty or efficacy | @heatinformatics