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The prices for injectable cancer drugs — including older medicines that face competition — rose over a recent eight-year period at rates that far exceeded inflation, according to a new study.

Specifically, the mean price increase for 24 branded cancer medicines that were approved in the U.S. between 1996 and 2012 was a whopping 25 percent. After adjusting for inflation, the increase was 18 percent. Moreover, gradual price increases over the years can result in substantial cumulative increases. In this instance, the mean cumulative price increase for all two dozen drugs was 36.5 percent.


“Some (increases) exceeded inflation drastically and some increased at a slower rate,” said Dr. Daniel Goldstein, an adjunct assistant professor at Emory University and senior physician at the Davidoff Cancer Center in Israel, who was the lead study author. “But overall, we’re seeing a gradual creep each year.” The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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