The economic burden of cancer consists of two parts – direct and indirect costs:
- Direct costs include all the resources necessary for prevention, treatment and cancer care
- Indirect costs include resources lost due to inability to work
If current trends continue, cancer is set to overtake cardiovascular disease and become the leading cause of death and disability in Europe. Yet only 6.2% of the overall health budget is allocated towards cancer care and treatment.
Whilst spending on cancer care and medicines has doubled since the mid 1990s in line with demographic developments and the increasing number of tumour types we are currently able to treat, its overall share of the total health budget has remained stable over the past 20 years.
For more information on cancer spending in Europe, you can access the report here.
The overall share of the total health budget dedicated to cancer care has remained stable over the past 20 years.
There is significant variation in the direct investment in cancer care across Europe with Switzerland spending over 10 times the amount that Romania spends per capita.
Direct investment in cancer care has further resulted in a 9% reduction in costs associated with the wider impact of the disease, such as lost or reduced productivity. Through more effective treatment and management of the condition, those affected are able to return to the workforce earlier, benefiting not only the patient but also their family and society overall.
There has been a distinct increase in the number of approved cancer medicines and indications in recent years. Treatments for over 160 indications were approved since 1995. However, variation in cancer medicine uptake across Europe suggests differing levels of patient access to treatment.
Countries with a lower GDP recorded around one third to half of the level of uptake (in volume) of the EU-5 countries and other countries with a higher GDP. Among the EU-5, the UK showed a consistent pattern of the lowest level of uptake across the seven cancer types considered in this report, including immunotherapy. France and Germany had the highest level of uptake among the EU-5.
For more information on cancer medicines in Europe, you can access the report here.