New analysis shows that more medicines worldwide are available to U.S. patients

Kevin Haninger   |     June 5, 2018   |   SHARE THIS

In the past year, we have seen revolutionary new treatments become available to patients in the United States for cancer and other debilitating diseases. A new analysis puts in perspective the greater availability of new therapies for American patients compared to those living in other countries.

Using regulatory approval data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Japanese Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA), as well as product sales data from around the world, the analysis identified 220 new molecular entities (NMEs) launched in 36 countries from 2011 to 2017.

Nearly 90 percent of these newly launched medicines were available in the United States, compared to just two-thirds in the United Kingdom, half in Canada and France, and one-third in Australia. For example:

  • Only 55 percent of the new medicines used to treat respiratory disorders were available in Canada, compared to 100 percent in the United States.
  • Of the 65 oncology NMEs identified, nearly all were available in the United States (62 medicines or 95 percent) compared to 75 percent in the United Kingdom and 51 percent in Japan.
  • For anti-infective and anti-viral medications, 90 percent of 30 NMEs identified were available in the United States compared to 80 percent in Germany, 60 percent in France and 57 percent in Canada.



Access to life-saving treatments makes a real difference in the lives of American patients. The National Cancer Institute announced on Tuesday that cancer deaths in the United States steadily declined for all ethnic groups from 1995 to 2015. Our market-based system for prescription drugs helps American patients get more treatments than anywhere else in the world. Patients in the United States have more choices as they work with their doctors to determine the best treatment options.

Kevin Haninger

Kevin Haninger Kevin Haninger, PhD, is Vice President, International Advocacy at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Kevin leads PhRMA’s international health policy advocacy including development of strategy, analysis, and policy positions on the cost and value of medicines, government pricing and reimbursement, and health technology assessment. Prior to joining PhRMA, Kevin was Senior Economist in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Topics: Access, FDA, Cancer

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