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Can We Afford the Cost of Cancer Care?

by Angelika Oberhof

Health care policy makers are increasingly worried by the increasing costs of cancer care. In particular, the average costs per patient of some new cancer treatments now exceed €10,000 per month. The inevitable concern about the future affordability of these treatments is aggravated by the fact that some of them have not even been shown to increase overall survival by any relevant margin – in fact, some of them improve progression-free survival only. On the one hand, almost 2.5 million people are newly diagnosed with cancer in the European Union each year, and the cost of cancer in Europe has been estimated to exceed 125 billion per year. On the other hand, substantial medical progress has been achieved in some areas, and research promises further improvements by targeting interventions using genetic information.

Against this background, a presentation at the German Cancer Research Center addressed key issues related to the future affordability, as well as measures taken internationally to ensure value for money, of cancer care.

Also see Recent Scientific Presentations.