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AHIP Examines the High Cost of Oncology Drugs

Press Release

Published Sep 20, 2022 • by AHIP

Washington, D.C. – September 20, 2022 – Every American deserves access to affordable, high-quality care and health coverage — and that includes getting the medications they need at a cost they can afford. But drug prices are out of control – with Big Pharma alone controlling the price. The problem of the price is particularly acute for patients who are fighting cancer.

Cancer patients rely on innovative, highly effective prescription drugs, yet rising drug costs are potentially shutting the door to these life-saving treatments. A recent AHIP blog examined how oncology drug costs have been accelerating over the past few years. Median annual oncology drug spending per Medicare Part B patient, for example, increased from $9,325 to $18,761 from 2016 to 2020, and from $27,761 to $52,016 for Medicare D patients, according to an analysis from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Big Pharma argues that high drug prices are necessary to cover the increasing costs of drug development; yet a recent AHIP analysis found that pharmaceutical companies spend more of their money on marketing and administrative expenses than on research and development. As drug costs continue to eat up more of hardworking Americans’ premiums, we must work together to lower drug prices to improve health care affordability and access for everyone.

We should not have to choose between affordability and innovation when it comes to prescription drugs. With the right solutions and genuine collaboration, we can achieve both.

About AHIP

AHIP is the national association whose members provide health care coverage, services, and solutions to hundreds of millions of Americans every day. We are committed to market-based solutions and public-private partnerships that make health care better and coverage more affordable and accessible for everyone. Visit to learn how working together, we are Guiding Greater Health.