A new study has found that the cost of cancer drugs in Europe varies widely.
Cancer patients in Europe may be getting hosed when it comes to prescription drugs.
New analysis has found that the cost of cancer drugs can vary widely depending on where you are in Europe, according to a Reuters report.
It’s better than in the United States, where patented prescription drugs have the highest prices in the entire world, but gaps also exist in Europe, based on research published in the journal Lancet Oncology by scientists at the Netherlands Cancer Institute.
The research team compared costs of cancer drugs spanning 15 countries in Europe in the summer of 2015, finding that in some countries, the price difference was a whopping 92 percent. The actual price paid after discounts, meanwhile, varied by around 58 percent, the study found.
In one country, there would be little different between the official and actual prices of drugs, while in other countries there would be huge discounts offered.
The researchers wrote that this may indicate a need for joint action by both the leaders of these nations and the pharmaceutical industry, “since fast and equitable access to promising new drugs is important to improving treatment results.”
The price of drugs has been a thorny political issue, particularly in the United States where drug costs are the highest in the world. It has become a major part of the platform for prominent Democratic presidential candidates, including frontrunner Hillary Clinton. But Europe also struggles with it as well. Drugmakers, for their part, claim that they need the prices to be high in order to encourage risk-taking to develop new effective drugs.