Top 6 Cancer Drug Trends

June 17, 2019

A record number of new oncology treatments launched in the US last year and spending on cancer drugs soared. Here are the top 6 cancer drug trends revealed in the report.

There were a record number of new oncology treatments that launched in the US last year and spending on cancer drugs soared, according to a new report from the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science.

Here are the top 6 cancer drug trends revealed in the report, “Global Oncology Trends 2019: Therapeutics, Clinical Development and Health System Implications:”

  • A record 15 new active substance (NAS) oncology treatments with 17 indications launched in the US in 2018. As a result, there are 57 new oncology therapeutics launched covering 89 approved indications for 23 different tumor types.

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  • Spending on all oncology medicines globally reached nearly $150 billion in 2018, up 12.9% from 2017. This was the fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth, entirely driven by therapeutic drugs, which increased 15.9%, according to IQVIA. Spending on cancer drugs in the US has doubled since 2013 and exceeded $56 billion in 2018, with more than $9 billion in growth coming from the use of new PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors.

  • The average annual cost of new cancer treatments has been trending up for the past two decades, but the median cost dropped $13,000 in 2018 to $149,000, and ranged between $90,000 and more than $300,000, IQIVA said.

  • Through 2023, compound annual growth in oncology therapeutics spending is expected to be 11% to 14%, bringing total estimated spending to between $200 and $230 billion worldwide.

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  • Thirty-one percent of the approved indications during the last five years have been for hematologic cancers-leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma-while lung cancer leads the solid tumors with 12 indications among the 89, followed by breast cancer (7 approved indications) and melanoma (6), IQVIA found.

  • *More than 700 companies across the globe have oncology drugs in late-stage development, including 626 emerging biopharma companies and 28 out of the 33 largest pharma companies. Within the R&D oncologic pipeline, the most intense activity is for immunotherapies, with almost 450 in clinical development.

There are also more than 100 next-generation biotherapeutics-defined as cell, gene, and nucleotide therapies-in clinical trials, focusing on 18 different MOAs. A total of 1,170 oncology clinical trials were initiated in 2018, an increase of 27% from 2017 and 68% from 2013.

Read more: Top 6 Drug Research Trends