High Cancer Prevalence Offers Significant Commercial Opportunities

BMI View: Given the increasing cancer burden in the Caribbean, there will be significant revenue-generating opportunities for pharmaceutical companies in the region. Commercial enterprises providing affordable screening, diagnostic services and treatments will benefit from increasing demand in the regional healthcare system.

The Caribbean accounted for approximately 8% of the disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost to cancer in Latin America in 2013. The cancer burden as percentage of the total disease burden in the Caribbean is relatively low (5% in 2013), compared with the rest of the region (6% in 2013). However, according to estimation from Globocan, the Caribbean countries have the highest cancer incidence rates per 100,000 population in the Americas.

A study by the Global Burden of Disease 2010, published in Lancet, reported that lifestyle changes, unhealthy dietary habits, smoking, alcohol consumption, pollution and ageing have all contributed to the increasing cancer disease burden worldwide. In Latin America, the key risk factors for the disease are alcohol use and a high body mass index. Breast cancer and cervical cancer are the most common cancer types in women in the Caribbean, and prostate, stomach and lung cancer are most common in men. The study underscored that cancer mortality in Latin America is greater than other regions. This because diagnoses are made at more advanced stages and there is relatively poor access to cancer care in Latin America. [1] The highest cancer mortality rates in the Caribbean are found in Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba.

Increasing Cancer Burden
DALYs Lost To Cancer In Caribbean
High Cancer Prevalence In The Caribbean
Estimated Age-Standardised Cancer Incidence Rates Per 100,000 Population In Americas (In 2012)

Increasing financial resources for cancer control, restructuring healthcare systems, improving technical resources and services for cancer prevention and treatment, as well as investing in education, will become common practice for local healthcare authorities in the Caribbean to address the high cancer burden. BMI believes the anti-cancer drug market in the Caribbean will expand due to the increasing disease burden, the commitment from local governments, and strong public and private demand for oncology treatments. We note that many Caribbean countries offer medicines free of charge at pubic healthcare facilities, such as Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados.

In addition, the majority of Caribbean countries are highly reliant on imported drugs, which will offer significant opportunities for multinational pharmaceutical companies looking to capitalise on the strong market demand. However, low per-capita pharmaceutical spending in certain countries such as Jamaica will hinder the access to cancer drugs. The Jamaican Minister of Health said: 'A diagnosis of cancer can cause financial ruin of a family and cancer treatment is not affordable for the average Jamaican family.' Centralised medicine procurements will continue to improve operational efficiency for multinational drugmakers.

Estimated Age-Standardised Cancer Incidence Rates In 100,000 population In Major Caribbean Countries
Cancer Puerto Rico Cancer Cuba Cancer Dominican Republic Cancer Jamaica Cancer Trinidad & Tobago Cancer Bahamas Cancer Barbados
All cancers excl. non-melanoma skin cancer 211.1 All cancers excl. non-melanoma skin cancer 218.0 All cancers excl. non-melanoma skin cancer 153.4 All cancers excl. non-melanoma skin cancer 198.5 All cancers excl. non-melanoma skin cancer 210.9 All cancers excl. non-melanoma skin cancer 208.9 All cancers excl. non-melanoma skin cancer 263.1
Prostate 93.2 Prostate 84.2 Prostate 68.5 Prostate 88.0 Prostate 123.9 Breast 98.9 Prostate 123.1
Breast 57.5 Breast 50.4 Breast 38.1 Breast 55.8 Breast 56.9 Prostate 74.1 Breast 94.7
Colorectum 24.6 Lung 32.9 Cervix uteri 30.7 Cervix uteri 26.3 Cervix uteri 24.5 Cervix uteri 20.6 Corpus uteri 34.1
Thyroid 16.1 Colorectum 19.7 Lung 12.0 Lung 18.2 Colorectum 23.5 Colorectum 20.3 Colorectum 28.4
Corpus uteri 16.0 Cervix uteri 17.1 Colorectum 10.2 Colorectum 14.4 Corpus uteri 14.6 Corpus uteri 15.5 Cervix uteri 25.4
Cervix uteri 11.4 Corpus uteri 14.0 Liver 8.9 Corpus uteri 12.0 Lung 12.2 Lung 9.7 Ovary 7.0
Lung 9.2 Larynx 7.6 Stomach 7.3 Stomach 9.1 Ovary 10.6 Ovary 8.9 Stomach 6.7
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 7.9 Bladder 7.4 Leukaemia 4.3 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 6.8 Pancreas 6.1 Stomach 7.0 Multiple myeloma 6.0
Leukaemia 5.7 Ovary 6.9 Other pharynx 4.1 Ovary 6.0 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 6.0 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 6.5 Brain, nervous system 5.7
Bladder 5.5 Stomach 5.9 Corpus uteri 4.0 Leukaemia 6.0 Stomach 4.4 Multiple myeloma 5.1 Leukaemia 5.1
Kidney 4.9 Brain, nervous system 5.5 Brain, nervous system 3.3 Liver 4.6 Leukaemia 4.0 Brain, nervous system 4.7 Lung 4.9
Ovary 4.6 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 5.3 Larynx 3.1 Multiple myeloma 3.9 Multiple myeloma 3.3 Larynx 4.4 Pancreas 4.6
Liver 4.5 Leukaemia 5.0 Pancreas 3.0 Pancreas 3.3 Bladder 3.3 Lip, oral cavity 3.6 Lip, oral cavity 4.5
Pancreas 4.3 Oesophagus 4.6 Lip, oral cavity 2.2 Bladder 3.3 Lip, oral cavity 2.8 Pancreas 3.3 Bladder 4.4
Stomach 4.1 Pancreas 4.6 Ovary 1.6 Larynx 3.0 Liver 2.4 Leukaemia 3.0 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 3.7
Lip, oral cavity 4.1 Lip, oral cavity 4.3 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 1.6 Lip, oral cavity 2.8 Larynx 2.3 Bladder 2.0 Other pharynx 3.4
Brain, nervous system 3.7 Liver 3.8 Oesophagus 1.4 Oesophagus 2.2 Kidney 2.3 Liver 1.9 Thyroid 3.3
Testis 3.1 Kidney 3.1 Multiple myeloma 1.3 Thyroid 1.7 Brain, nervous system 2.3 Kidney 1.8 Liver 2.1
Hodgkin lymphoma 2.2 Other pharynx 2.2 Bladder 1.1 Brain, nervous system 1.4 Thyroid 2.1 Oesophagus 1.5 Kidney 1.9
Melanoma of skin 2.1 Multiple myeloma 2.0 Thyroid 0.7 Kidney 1.1 Hodgkin lymphoma 1.7 Other pharynx 1.4 Oesophagus 1.8
Larynx 2.1 Hodgkin lymphoma 1.8 Kidney 0.6 Nasopharynx 1.0 Other pharynx 1.6 Melanoma of skin 0.9 Nasopharynx 1.2
Oesophagus 2.0 Thyroid 1.7 Gallbladder 0.5 Hodgkin lymphoma 0.9 Melanoma of skin 1.3 Gallbladder 0.9 Gallbladder 1.2
Multiple myeloma 1.9 Testis 1.4 Hodgkin lymphoma 0.5 Gallbladder 0.9 Gallbladder 1.1 Hodgkin lymphoma 0.7 Larynx 1.1
Source: Globocan
This article is tagged to:
Related sectors of this article: Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare
Geography: Caribbean, China, United States

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