Can the Spanish care system assume the new costs of medications against cancer?
Camps C., Caballero C., Sirera R., Blasco A., Cayuela D., Gil M., Badía X.
Cancer is a high incidence disease, forcing healthcare systems to assign a significant amount of resources to its treatment. New developments have arisen recently: development of new agents that act at specific steps of cellular differentiation and proliferation and identification of predictive genetic markers which allow sub-groups of patients that will benefit from these agents, alone or in combination with chemotherapy, to be targeted. The majority of new drugs coming to the market combine greater clinical benefit and higher costs. Constraints on healthcare budgets worldwide make it necessary to rationalise the expense by prioritising allocation of available resources to the most efficient interventions, so that the best possible clinical result can be obtained at a reasonable cost and with the best quality of life for the patient. Economic evaluation studies represent the only tool available to scientifically determine the cost-effectiveness of new treatments and the budgetary impact of their introduction to the therapeutic arsenal available for the treatment of cancer.