The Australian medicines industry invests millions of dollars to develop new cancer drugs. Of all the new drugs in development, over a third of these drugs are for cancer. Increasingly these new cancer drugs are not being reimbursed by the Government. This is despite the Government making considerable savings recently as older drugs go off patent.
The new paradigm of cancer research and development means that cancer medicines are more targeted to specific groups of patients.
For example, ten years ago breast cancer patients were treated with chemotherapy. Nowadays we have developed new targeted drugs that target HER2+ breast cancer. This means the drugs are more likely to be effective for patients with HER2+ breast cancer.
As the cost of the research continues to rise this cost must be recouped by the industry to ensure cancer research and development continues into the future. By providing incremental benefit over time, the industry helps to delay disease progression and prolong the lives of cancer patients.