[Ip-health] KWF: brakes on expensive cancer drugs

Elizabeth Rajasingh elizabeth.rajasingh at keionline.org
Wed Oct 29 07:56:11 PDT 2014

"A special committee shall submit a proposal to Minister Schippers of
Health within six months on the maximum amount that may be spent on cancer
treatment.Writes a working group of leading cancer specialists in a report
by the Dutch Cancer Society, published today."

June 20, 2014.

English Translation:
Until now, such a financial barrier for physicians was unmentionable. Two
years ago there was a fuss about advice to not reimburse the expensive
drugs against the deadly muscle diseases Pompe and Fabry; advice that
eventually went off the table. Oncologists now break the spell. "If we do
not raise the alarm, occurred within two years of major problems," predicts
the Leiden professor of medical oncology Koos van der Hoeven, chairman of
the working group. The cost of cancer drugs nearly tripled in the past 10
years, from 270 to 733 million euro. The KWF group predicts that this
increase will continue. More and more promising, but expensive cancer
drugs, which sometimes cost almost one tonne per patient per year.
Moreover, by taking the number of aging cancer by a quarter, towards 120
thousand in 2020. Cheaper medicines
​. ​
Hospitals have to pay for cancer drugs largely from their own budget. They
should if they exceed the total of those expensive medications, help out,
which often causes problems yourself. This week it was announced that
hospitals because of cost considerations sometimes prescribe fewer or
cheaper drugs than is medically necessary . Must be prevented, says Van der
Hoeven, which will then be determined in the office of the oncologist or in
the boardroom of the hospital is prescribed any treatment. "Patients should
be able to count on the best medicine." Six months ago, warned doctors,
health economists and patient organizations in the Volkskrant that cancer
care is likely to be priceless . Had to be, according to them need a debate
about acceptable costs for cancer drugs. The KWF Working Group proposes to
treatments for a maximum amount set for each extra healthy life years.

This proposal is similar to the approach in Britain, where a committee of
experts (NICE) assesses the price of new drugs. The limit for compensation
is there on 36 thousand euros per healthy year of life. This spring NICE
approved a new drug against breast cancer off because the effect (on
average six months extra) did not outweigh the costs (90 thousand euros per
year). Expensive drugs are banned in Norway and Germany. More often
negotiate to hospitals and pharmacies, according to the group often
negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry. A spokesman for pharmaceutical
dome Nefarma says companies for price negotiations. Open Health insurers
are already with pharmacists around the table, he says, and teaching
hospitals have a purchasing."How many are worth a few extra months, which
is a public debate. But we feel that the patient should not be penalized. "
The Ministry of Health has recently introduced a special agency that
negotiates with pharmaceutical companies. How much money thus saved will
remain secret. The financial advantage is only unjustly contact the health
insurers, according to the working group. Precisely hospitals should be
able to make use of that discount.

Elizabeth Rajasingh
Perls Fellow, Knowledge Ecology International
1621 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009
*elizabeth.rajasingh at keionline.org <elizabeth.rajasingh at keionline.org>*
 | 1-202-332-2670

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