Anticancer drugs on the up and up

The growing cost of anticancer drugs is worrying health experts who are predicting this upward trend may impact on the availability of new medications.

With no end in sight to price increases, the PBS is feeling the pressure, according to researchers at the NHMRC, who say the burgeoning costs are not only a major challenge for the health system but also for those afflicted with cancer.

Annual PBS expenditure on anticancer drugs rose from $65 million in 1999-2000 to $466 million in 2011-2012, an average increase of 19% per annum, they wrote in the

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