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What’s Driving the Big Drop in Cancer Mortality Rates?

Once in a while it is good to believe in facts.
The brief article below deserves some serious attention as it includes some really positive facts about Cancer mortality rates.

Here’s the banner headline—-
24% decrease in deaths / 100k across the 15 most common tumor types (2000 thru 2016) across the 15 most common tumor types.

Now those are some impressive statistics.

What has been the primary drivers of the improvement in mortality rates over that period?

It is noteworthy that oncology therapy approvals even before 2010 were major contributors. However, we’ve seen multiple examples of specialty pharmacy cancer drugs with novel mechanisms of action come to market since 2010….. especially in the last few years.

The recently approved cancer therapies have been predominantly oral forms which also contribute to the improved mortality statistics as patients are more likely to remain adherent / compliant.

One last factor that deserves mention is the specialty pharmacy model itself which morphed to offer a distinct Oncology-specific model designed to support the unique needs of cancer patients, Oncologists, and even cancer therapy manufacturers.


Cancer Drug Approvals Associated with Reduction in Deaths

10 November 2020 — For the most common cancers, cancer drug approvals between 2000 and 2016 were associated with a reduction in deaths, according to a study published online Nov. 9 in the Journal of Medical Economics.

Joanna P. MacEwan, Ph.D., from Precision Health Economics & Outcome Research (PRECISIONheor) in Los Angeles, and colleagues examined the extent to which the approvals of new pharmacological therapies were associated with cancer mortality in the United States from 2000 to 2016. Cancer drug approvals across the 15 tumor types with the highest incidence were quantified. The annual tumor-specific cancer mortality, defined as the number of deaths per 100,000 U.S. population, was the primary outcome.

The researchers observed a 24% decrease in deaths per 100,000 population across the 15 most common tumor types between 2000 and 2016. Across the 15 most common tumor types, 10.2 new indications were approved per year. For colorectal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, melanoma, gastric cancer, and renal cancer, cancer drug approvals were associated with significant reductions in deaths in 2016. Between 2000 and 2016, across the 15 most common tumor types, new cancer treatments were associated with 1,291,769 total deaths prevented.

“This study provides evidence that the gains in survival measured in clinical trials are translating into health benefits for patients in the real world and confirms previous research that has also shown that new pharmaceutical treatments are associated with improved survival outcomes for patients,” MacEwan said in a statement.

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