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Drug companies step up to cancer

Janet Babin May 16, 2008
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Drug companies step up to cancer

Janet Babin May 16, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: Pharmaceutical companies are rushing to create the latest anti-cancer drug these days, and with good reason. Cancer has overtaken heart disease as the number one cause of death for people in their 40’s and 50’s. And according to a new study, oncology drug sales are setting a new pace. Janet Babin reports from the Marketplace Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.


Janet Babin: The IMS Health study found that the cancer drug market will grow to $80 billion by 2012. Changing diets and environmental factors have increased the cancer risk for people in Brazil, India and China.

Kim Lyerly is Director of the Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center:

Kim Lyerly: In China, they have twice the population of individuals over the age of 65 that the U.S. does. And as you can imagine, this creates an enormous potential for cancer to creep up.

And for drug companies to move in. Pharmaceutical firms with big research and development budgets stand to benefit most from new cancer therapies.

But Titus Pattel with IMS says oncology drugs are not immune to market pressures:

Titus Pattel: Some of these products that have been coming online are actually starting to come off patent now.

That will make them vulnerable to cheaper generics.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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