In 2013, spending on specialty drugs, a category dominated by drugs used to treat cancer, totaled $73 billion.1 That year, 8 new cancer drugs were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Medicare “price,” which includes patient co-insurance, for these 8 drugs ranged from $7000 to $12 000 per month,2 with some products showing overall survival improvements of nearly 6 months and others showing no improvement in overall survival.
Bach PB. Indication-Specific Pricing for Cancer Drugs. JAMA. 2014;312(16):1629–1630. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.13235