The nine treatments which are to be made available for the first time through the SUS include three for liver cancer plus five for breast cancer, leukemia and lymphoma and one new radiotherapy treatment.
Investments in the SUS oncology services, which provide treatment for around 300,000 cancer patients, will increase 25% to 412.7 million reals this year, rising to 2 billion reals in 2011. The widening of value coverage for already-provided treatments will see investments in chemotherapy services increasing from 1.25 billion reals last year to 1.5 billion in 2011, with particularly large increases in spending on treatments for conditions such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia, set to rise 765%.
For 24 chemotherapy treatments, value coverage is to be reduced but this will reflect purely reductions in costs of these treatments, say analysts at IHS Global Insight, who also point out that SUS funding for radiotherapy treatments will be increased 94% over 2009 levels to reach 318 million reals in 2011.
The analysts forecast that the SUS oncology services will continue to give priority to the introduction of new technologies, and that the government will maintain its support for local production facilities, such as the development, in partnership with Argentina, of two reactors for the production of oncology drugs, announced in June.
Cancer is Brazil’s second-biggest killer after cardiovascular disease, and the fact that the SUS guarantees virtually all diagnosed patients have access to treatment makes it an attractive market for drugmakers. For example, last year the country’s breast cancer drug market was worth $424 million, rivaling some major markets such as the UK and Japan and greatly exceeding the other BRIC (Russia, India and China) nations, says market research firm Decision Resources, which forecasts that breast cancer drug sales in Brazil will rise to $611 million by 2014.
Decision Resources is also forecasting good growth for Brazil’s non-small-cell lung (NSCL) cancer drug market, driven by increased uptake of higher-priced brands of chemotherapy, around 21% annual growth for targeted regimens and maintenance treatment (all in the advanced setting) and modest uptake of novel targeted agents. Drugs produced by western manufacturers will increase their share of the market from around 60% last year to 70% in 2014, when the total NSCL cancer drug market will be worth $240 million, it says.
- With annual drug sales of just over $17 billion, Brazil is the world’s 11th-largest pharmaceutical market and is once again the biggest in Latin America. Having fallen behind Mexico in the earlier part of the decade, it has produced consistent double-digit growth in the last five years, reaching a peak of 33% in 2005 and rising 13% in 2009, reports IMS Health.