Global Cancer Drug Spending Hits $100 Billion in 2014

Worldwide spending on cancer medicines reached $100 billion in 2014, an increase of 10.3 percent from 2013 and up from $75 billion five years earlier, according to IMS Health’s Global Oncology Trend Report released on Tuesday.

The $100 billion, which represents 10.8 percent of all drug spending globally and includes supportive care drugs to address things like nausea and anemia, was driven by expensive newer treatments in developed markets, IMS found.

That is seen rising to $117 billion to $147 billion in 2018, IMS forecast, a compound annual growth rate of 6-8 percent.

Waves of similar drugs, such as those that spur the immune system to fight cancer being developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, Roche, AstraZeneca and others, will create competition that could help moderate costs.