Italy: where expensive cancer drugs come with a refund if they don’t work

Getting cancer is bad enough. The high price of treatment makes it even worse. Some drugs cost tens of thousands of dollars a month, and there is no guarantee that they will work.

Italy’s state-run health service is asking pharmaceutical companies for money-back guarantees if their drugs don’t work. In 2015, it collected €200 million ($220 million) in refunds.

Since 2005, a national registry has been tracking treatments and outcomes. The Italian Medicines Agency makes use of the data for its pay-for-performance deals with pharma companies. If a drug isn’t performing as well as was promised, the agency will pay less money for its use.

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Source: Italy: where expensive cancer drugs come with a refund if they don’t work
Picture: Steve Snodgrass
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