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International Price Comparisons of Anticancer Drugs: A Scheme for Improving Patient Accessibility

Jung, Jae Ho and Kim, Dae Jung and Suh, Kangho and You, Jaeeun and Lee, Je Ho and Joung, Kyung In and Suh, Dong Churl (2021) International Price Comparisons of Anticancer Drugs: A Scheme for Improving Patient Accessibility. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (2). p. 670. ISSN 1660-4601

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Background: The demand for implementing a new listing scheme to expedite patient access to novel oncology drugs has increased in South Korea. This study was conducted to compare the prices of anticancer drugs between eight countries and to explore the feasibility of a ‘pre-listing and post-evaluation’ scheme to expedite patient access to oncology drugs. Methods: This study included 34 anticancer drugs, which were reimbursed between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2017. The unit price and sales volume of the study drugs were collected from eight countries and IQVIA data, respectively. The prices were adjusted to estimate the ex-factory prices using the discount/rebate rate suggested by the Health Insurance Review Agency (HIRA). The four price indices of Laspeyres, Paasche, Fisher, and the unweighted index were calculated using the price in each country, the average price, and lowest price among the study countries. Each currency was converted using the currency exchange rate and purchasing power parity (PPP). The budget impact of implementing the proposed pre-listing and post-evaluation scheme on payers was calculated. Results: Based on the currency exchange rate, anticancer drug prices were higher in other countries (index range: 1.05–2.78) compared to Korea. The prices in Korea were similar to countries with the lowest prices. When the PPP was applied, prices were higher in the US, Germany, Italy, and Japan than in Korea (range: 1.10–2.13); however, the prices were lower in the UK, France, and Switzerland than in Korea (range: 0.72–0.99). The financial burden of implementing the pre-listing and post-evaluation scheme was calculated at 0.83% of the total anticancer drug sales value in Korea from 2013–2017. Conclusions: The prices of anticancer drugs in Korea were similar to the lowest prices among the seven other study countries. A pre-listing and post-evaluation scheme should be considered to improve patient access to novel anticancer drugs by reducing the reimbursement review time and uncertainties.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Jung, Jae Ho
Kim, Dae Jung
You, Jaeeun
Lee, Je Ho
Joung, Kyung In
Suh, Dong Churl
Date: 14 February 2021
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume: 18
Number: 2
Publisher: MDPI AG
Page Range: p. 670
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3390/ijerph18020670
Schools and Programs: School of Pharmacy > Pharmaceutical Sciences
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: price comparison, anticancer drugs, international price, price index, patient access
ISSN: 1660-4601
Official URL:
Funders: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Co, ,South Korea.
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2022 18:17
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2022 18:17


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