Danish National Trends in Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer Drug Expenditure in Relation to Trends in Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer Deaths

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  • Omar Dzaye, Johns Hopkins University Bayview Proteomic Center, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Charité
  • ,
  • Henrik Bødtker
  • ,
  • Cara Reiter-Brennan, Johns Hopkins University Bayview Proteomic Center, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Charité
  • ,
  • Michael J Blaha, Johns Hopkins University Bayview Proteomic Center, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • ,
  • Martin Bødtker Mortensen, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

BACKGROUND: Cancer and cardiovascular disease are the 2 leading causes of death in most developed countries, making up the majority of national health care expenditures. In this study, we investigated nationwide trends of cardiovascular disease and cancer drug expenditure in relation to concomitant trends in cardiovascular disease and cancer death rates.

METHODS: We obtained cardiovascular and cancer drug expenditure data in Denmark through the Danish Register of Medical Product Statistics. Trends in cancer deaths and cardiovascular disease deaths were observed by linkage to the cancer statistics for the Nordic Countries and Danish Heart Foundation databases.

RESULTS: Our data show that introduction and rapid uptake of generic versions of most cardiovascular disease drugs have resulted in a remarkable cost-neutral development in cardiovascular disease drug expenditure from 1995 to 2018 despite increased drug use. This development is contrasted to cancer drug expenditure, which has increased more than 15-fold in the same period. Since 2006, expenditure for cancer drugs has exceeded that for cardiovascular disease drugs and is now more than triple that cost. However, death rates for cancer have dropped a fraction as much as for cardiovascular disease.

CONCLUSION: Our results point to a disproportionate high mortality-adjusted expenditure for cancer drugs compared to cardiovascular disease drugs and demonstrate an enormous potential for national health care savings when cheaper versions like biosimilars of many cancer drugs are introduced.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe American Journal of Medicine
Volume133
Issue11
Pages (from-to)1350-1353
Number of pages4
ISSN0002-9343
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

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