Health Spending on Cancer Research and Treatment

HealthSpending on Cancer Research and Treatment

Cancersis currently one of the diseases that has the highest mortality casesdue to its nature and cost of treatment. The world currently spendsover $100 billion on oncology, which is the highest since the diseasegained a high position as a health hazard that needs concerted effortfrom the international community to reduce mortality rates andmorbidity (Weinstein, Milton, and Skinner 463). Governments fromdifferent parts of the world are spending more on cancer research andtreatment due to the recent breakthroughs in cancer research.Furthermore, cancer drugs are very expensive hence, the moreresources are required to allow avail the drugs to people. In years2014-15, a number of reports have indicated that more cancer patientsare surviving five years or more since the day they are diagnosedwith cancer. The increased rate of survival has been the impetusbehind the commitment of governments to spend more money on oncology.

Theincrease is specialty drugs from modern pharmaceutical companies isalso another reason why the World Health Organization has been on theforefront to member countries to increases their healthcare budgetson oncological research. Specialty drugs such as injected drugs totreat cancer have been more effective than conventional pills. Animpressive increase of spending on specialty drugs by 27% shows thatthe international community is focused on finding a lasting solutionto the cancer menace that is currently facing all the societies inthe world (Miller 45). The demand from cancer drugs increased for thepast few years. However, a new development in oncological research islikely to change this trend: competition from bio-similar drugs afterthe patent of an original pharmaceutical company expires. Bio-similardrugs usually have low molecule content, making them generic.Newprojections show that impact of generic is likely reduce becausefewer companies are increasingly loosing patent protectiontherefore, not prone to competition from the generic versions fromcompeting pharmaceutical companies. Furthermore, many cancertreatment centers prefer using branded drugs and newly launched drugsdue to their effectiveness. This phenomenon in cancer spending isdirectly proportional to the income of countries.

Effecton continents, states, regions, counties, and health departments

Consideringthat expenditure on oncology in increasingly focused on research andtreatment, the impact on countries, states, counties, and healthdepartments is likely to vary. The variation is as a result of thevarying income levels of countries and the technological states thatvitally determine the position each of these entities holds indealing with cancer. Continents face varying challenges on thisissue. Firstly, Africa faces the greatest challenge because the vastpopulace in Africa cannot afford new cancer drugs on the marketbecause most people live under the global poverty line. It would notbe appalling to find that a huge number of cancer patients in Africahardly access diagnostic screening in the first place. The healthsector in Africa is mainly run by government hence, the governmentsare responsible for investing in oncology research. Although theyhave not been left behind in increasing spending on oncology researchand cancer treatment, the scarce resources make it difficult forcancer patients in Africa to access requisite care and treatment.Europe and North America rank top in oncology research and spendinghence, they are likely to meet this challenge in a more significantway, especially in this decade. This decade has been touted by cancerresearchers as the likely turning point for cancer research andtreatment. The effect of sending on oncology research and theresultant breakthroughs in treating cancer is likely to trickle downto countries, regions, and counties because most countries sharenotes on the cancer menace in this age of sociopolitical and economicintegration.


Miller,Bruce. Cancer: WeCan Win The War Against Cancer By Aggresively pursuing Prevention.OakPublication SdnBhd, 2005.

Weinstein,Milton C., and Jonathan A. Skinner. &quotComparative effectivenessand health care spending—implications for reform.&quot NewEngland Journal of Medicine362.5 (2010): 460-465.