Spending on cancer treatments has spiked past the $100 billion mark globally over the past five years, with almost half that amount in the United States alone, according to a report released Thursday.
The extra money is mostly going to pricey new targeted drugs that are adding years to some patients’ lives and transforming the way certain cancers are treated, the report from the independent QuintilesIMS Institute finds.
Quintiles found that worldwide spending on cancer drugs and supportive medications — such as anti-nausea drugs and blood boosters — grew from $91 billion in 2012 to $113 billion in 2016. Patients in the U.S. accounted for 46 percent of that spending.
The report predicts annual growth of between 6 percent and 9 percent through 2021.
Extremely expensive targeted immunotherapy drugs have driven changes in both spending and cancer care, the report finds.