Innovative cancer therapies and advances in drug development have created new hopes for patients and health providers. The purpose of this article was to evaluate the discrepancies in the assessment of the magnitude of benefit of four new drugs (abiraterone acetate, enzalutamide, cabazitaxel, radium-223 dichloride) for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The comparison was done among three European countries (UK, Germany and France) and Canada, according to the statement of each country and to the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale. Whereas those drugs are authorized by the European Medical Agency, one can observed that clear discrepancies in the magnitude of benefit assessment exist between selected countries, as well as between national pricing evaluation agencies and ESMO. However, price setting and reimbursement decisions remain national responsibility with differences in assessment of the medical value of new treatment across countries, leading to a heterogeneous accessibility to cancer treatments. In conclusion, several procedures have to be implemented to overcome the patchwork of administrative assessments. Among them, the assessment of medical value should be based on independent statements of learned societies, and the harmonization of access to cancer therapy in Europe has to be driven by a common European reimbursement and pricing policy.
Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology. 2017 Feb 01 [Epub]
S Oudard, F Courbon
Department of Medical Oncology, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, Paris, France., Department of Medical Imaging, Institut Universitaire du Cancer de Toulouse-Oncopole, Toulouse, France.