Study: Cancer drug costs increase 25% in 8 years

The price of injectable brand-name cancer drugs are rising at a pace faster than inflation, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

For the study, researchers analyzed the average cost for 24 patented, injectable cancer treatments approved between 1996 and 2012 using average sales prices published by CMS.

The average price increase for all drugs was 25 percent over eight years. When researchers accounted for inflation, the average price increase was 18 percent.

Increased competition or newly approved uses for the cancer drugs did not affect annual price change rates.

"In a normally functioning market, competition should decrease prices," study author Daniel Goldstein, ‎MD, an adjunct assistant professor at Atlanta-based Emory University, told Reuters. "But we saw competition actually seems to drive prices up. We don't specifically have evidence that the companies are talking to each other and raising their prices simultaneously, but one could consider that as a possible conclusion from these findings."

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