Cancer Care Affordability in China

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Fraser Clarke

Cancer medication should be more affordable in China from next month thanks to a new agreement.

Negotiations between the country’s state medical insurance provider and pharmaceutical companies have almost concluded, with news agencies reporting that treatments for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma are all set to benefit.

Since early last year the price of clinically proven but costly medication, such as Bortezomib and Heceptin has dropped, whilst in May taxes of between four and six per-cent were also removed to help ease the financial burden on Cancer patients.

For pharmaceutical providers China is one of the world’s biggest markets for Cancer drugs, with $14.9bn spent in 2016 alone - a total that accounts for 18% of global sales.

The high cost however has left many Chinese people struggling to survive, with the costs of Cancer treatment often in excess of $24,000 - more than 1.5 times the average salary in the country.

China is facing a growing issue with Cancer prevalence, with Breast Cancer rates growing at an average of 3.5% annually, and Lung Cancer figures already amongst the highest on the planet. This makes finding a solution that won’t break the bank all the more critical in ensuring a positive future for patients.

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