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Four things health execs should know about the oncology pipeline

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oncologyOncology therapeutic and supportive care agents in the development pipeline promise to be more effective, more therapeutically targeted, more personalized—and far more costly, according to industry experts.

“At the same time, more effective management of cancer care is increasingly facilitated by increasing penetration of electronic health records [EHRs], EHR-embedded clinical pathways, increasing share of patients treated in integrated delivery systems and larger oncology practices, transition from fee-for-service payment to risk-share payment, and the use of 'big data' to discover how resources can be optimally applied,” says Elan Rubinstein, PharmD, MPH, principal of EB Rubinstein Associates, a pharmaceutical management consulting firm. “Understanding the many changes under way in the healthcare marketplace, including oncology drugs in the pipeline, healthcare executives can coordinate the reaction of their organization to those market changes and thereby maximize value for money related to the care of cancer patients.” 

Here are the top four trends you should keep on your radar.

#1. Drug trend is increasing

The global oncology market reached $107 billion in 2015, according to the “Global Oncology Trend Report: A Review of 2015 and Outlook to 2020” released by IMS Health in June 2016. This amount represents an 11.5% increase in spend from 2014. The annual global cancer drug market is expected to grow another 7.5% to 10.5% in the next few years, to a total of approximately $150 billion in 2020, according to the report. 

Nadina Rosier, health and group benefits practice leader at Willis Towers Watson, says oncology drug trend will increase exponentially over the next few years because of the rich pipeline of innovative new drugs and their utilization and cost.

The IMS Health Report predicts that future growth in the oncology drug market will be driven by wider utilization of new products, especially immunotherapies, and will be offset by decreased use of existing treatments. More than 70 new cancer treatments approved to treat more than 20 tumor types have been developed in the past five years.

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