Access to Cancer Treatment

A study of medicine pricing issues with recommendations for improving access to cancer medication

According to the World Health Organization, cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world, with 8.2 million deaths in 2012. More than 60 percent of the world’s new cases of cancer occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America and these regions account for 70 percent of the world’s cancer deaths.

In low- and middle-income countries, expensive treatments for cancer are not widely available. Unsustainable cancer medication pricing has increasingly become a global issue, creating access challenges in low-and middle-income but also high-income countries.

This report describes recent developments within the pricing of medicines for the treatment of cancer, discusses what lessons can be drawn from HIV/AIDS treatment scale-up and makes recommendations to help increase access to treatment for people with cancer.