It's no secret that treating cancer is expensive. From innovative new drugs, to specialists and high tech treatments, even with insurance, it's pricey. The costs of many cancer drugs, even ones that have been around for decades, rose 11% last year and 11% the year before. Newer drugs like precision medicine and immunotherapy drugs are up 18% this year. Advances in cancer treatment have made some forms of the disease chronic, so while lives are being saved, many patients will require medication and treatment for years to come.
Drug prices in the United States are higher than anywhere in the world. Congress is debating on whether or not government agencies like the FDA can be involved in negotiating directly with pharmaceutical companies on drug prices. Other measures being considered are speeding up the approval process so companies don't have to recoup years of testing costs via sky high prices and forcing large companies to prove why they have to charge so much for some drugs. Naturally, drug companies are against many of these ideas and are lobbying hard to be able to continue to do business as they always have.