Value-Based Calculator Estimates How Much Cancer Drugs Should Really Cost

One of the most vocal physicians about the high prices of cancer drugs, Peter Bach, MD, MAPP, director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, recently led the effort to create a value-based calculator to determine the true worth of cancer drugs.

One of the most vocal physicians about the high prices of cancer drugs, Peter Bach, MD, MAPP, director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, recently led the effort to create a value-based calculator to determine the true worth of cancer drugs.

The interactive calculator looks at the cost of more than 50 cancer drugs and compares them with what their prices would be if they were tied to factors like side effects and extra years of life gained. For example, while the market price for Amgen Inc’s Blincyto for treatment of a rare type of leukemia is $64,260 a month, the suggested price is just $12,612 a month based on the value-based calculator.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal: http://on.wsj.com/1I2uZ5V

In a recent interview with The American Journal of Managed Care, he explained that, adjusted for inflation, the introductory price of a cancer drug today is now 100 times what it was in 1965. Despite that price increase, there has not been an equivalent increase in the benefit this drugs provide.

“What we see is what economists would call ‘diminishing returns,’” Dr Bach said. “Or you could look at it the other way: higher charges for health benefits.”