While more than eighty new drugs have been introduced in the past thirty years, the survival benefit is still relatively low, according to researchers. In addition to the fact that these drugs often come with an expensive price tag, drugs sometimes appear more effective in the research phase than when they hit the market.
However, their study showed that the most benefit was achieved with two rare forms of cancer in the gastrointestinal tract. New drugs appear to be effective in common cancers, especially in breast and prostate cancer.
Nevertheless, Minister Kuiper does not think this is enough to include the drug Trodelvy in the basic package, as he does not consider the health benefits to outweigh the hefty price tag.
Trodelvy was expected to be administered to 139 patients per year, at a cost of €68,707 per person. Patients would not be cured as a result, but they would live an average of more than five months longer.
The bigger picture
Cancer researcher Siesslang says that while these few months are important for an individual patient, there are also complex considerations to be made. With these financial resources, the care must be able to survive.
It should be mentioned, however, that some cancer treatments in the study are more aimed at improving the quality of life than at prolonging life. In addition, it may also be that the effectiveness of medicines has improved in recent years, because figures from 2018 have not been looked at.
By: National Care Guide