Industry Trend Analysis - Cancer Panel Report Is A Boon To The Generic Industry - APR 2018

BMI View: The President's Cancer Panel report again pushes the issue of drug pricing to the forefront, increasing pressure for a solution to be implemented. The report's argument both that generic and biosimilar competition drives down prices, and that the generic industry is not a primary contributor to the high pricing issue will be welcomed by the industry that has been under attack in Congress for some of its pricing practices. The report also essentially recommends that the FDA continues its current programme regarding improving access to timely generics, a move that will validate the Agency's outlook.

The President's Cancer Panel has issued its most recent report to President Trump. The Panel was established in 1971 when the National Cancer Act was signed by President Nixon. The Panel is a Federal Advisory Committee and is supported by the National Cancer Institute. In this latest report, the Panel has concluded that addressing the rising cost of cancer drugs must be made a national priority, which will require a concerted, immediate, bipartisan and multilateral effort.

Amongst the Panel's recommendations is that the US stimulates and maintains competition in the generic and biosimilar cancer drug markets. The report notes that the US incentivises pharmaceutical innovation in part through patents, utilising the Hatch-Waxman Act to enable the entry of cheaper generics once those patents have expired. Since passage of the Act in 1984, the US generic drug market has expanded dramatically, and accounted for 89% of retail prescriptions in 2016 compared with 19% in 1984.

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