National Trends In Spending On And Use Of Oral Oncologics First Quarter 2006 Through Third Quarter 2011
Author: Rena M. Conti, Adam J. Fein, Sumita S. Bhatta
Oral prescription drugs are an increasingly important treatment option for cancer. Yet contemporaneous US trends in spending on anticancer drugs known as oral oncologics have not been described. Using nationally representative data, we describe trends in national spending on and use of forty-seven oral oncologics between the first quarter of 2006 and the third quarter of 2011. Average quarterly national spending on oral oncologics increased 37 percent, from $940.3 million to $1.4 billion in 2012 dollars, a significant change. Average quarterly use of oral oncologics in the same time period measured in extended units increased at a significant pace but more slowly than spending (10 percent). Within this broader trend, differences in spending among categories of oral oncologics were observed. High levels of and increases in both spending and use were concentrated among new brand-name and patent-protected oral oncologics, including second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia. Decreased spending but increased use was observed among oral oncologics that lost patent protection during the study period and were available in generic form, including hormonal therapies used to treat breast and prostate cancers. Spending on new and patent-protected oral oncologics and associated price increases are significant drivers of increased spending.