There are major differences in cancer drug prices around the world. However, the patterns of affordability of these drugs are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to compare patterns of affordability of cancer drugs in Australia, China, India, Israel, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Cancer drug prices are highest in the United States. Cancer drugs are the least affordable in India by a large margin. Despite lower prices than in the USA, cancer drugs are less affordable in middle-income countries than in high-income countries.
We obtained the prices of a basket of cancer drugs in all 7 countries, and converted the prices to US$ using both foreign exchange rates and purchasing power parity. We assessed international differences in wealth by collecting values for gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in addition to average salaries. We compared patterns of affordability of cancer drugs by dividing the drug prices by the markers of wealth.