• 17 new cancer medicines launched in the U.S. in 2020, bringing the total over the past 5 years to 62 innovative therapies, collectively approved for 130 indications across 24 different tumor types
  • The pandemic continues to have a substantial impact on cancer care with oncologists in the US, Japan and Europe reporting caseloads that are 26% to 51% lower than pre-pandemic levels
  • Check-point inhibitors first introduced in 2011 have induced responses in some previously intractable cancers and have seen remarkable uptake, almost doubling since 2018 in use per capita in the U.S., higher than EU4, UK and Japan.
  • Access to medicines has been steadily increasing and 9.2 billion Defined Daily Doses (DDDs) were delivered globally in 2020 but variability across countries remains high
  • Global spending on oncology drugs – using list or invoice prices – reached $164 billion in 2020; a compound annual growth rate of 14.3% over the past 5 years

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Despite the substantial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient care during 2020, the scientific advances in oncology continued, with 3,500 new drugs in the pipeline in 2020, up 75 percent since 2015. Oncologists worldwide report caseloads that are 26 to 51 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels, resulting in delays in necessary treatments. Despite this, the surge in innovative cancer medicines continued, as reflected in clinical trial activity, the robust pipeline of new treatments in development, and the increased use of available therapeutics by more patients.

“While the pandemic still is having significant impact on cancer care, innovations in oncology continues largely unaffected, reflecting the substantial and sustained commitment to advancing care for patients by oncologists and other care providers, governments and payers, and life sciences companies,” said Murray Aitken, executive director of the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science. “The continued surge in new innovative cancer medicines demonstrates the remarkable capacity and ingenuity of the global oncology community in a very challenging environment.”

A few key highlights of the IQVIA Institute Global Oncology Report include:

  • Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Care: The pandemic continues to have a substantial impact on cancer care with oncologists in the U.S., Japan and Europe reporting caseloads that are 26 to 51 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels, delays in necessary treatments, screenings at 11 to 23 percent below baseline levels and community oncologists in the U.S. reporting an increasing share of their new patients presenting with metastatic cancer
  • Innovation: The surge of new innovative cancer medicines that began a decade ago continued in 2020 with 17 new drugs being launched and made available – at different times – to patients around the world, especially those with rare cancers
  • Research and Development: Scientific breakthroughs in understanding rare cancers that lead to novel therapeutics, and a biomedical eco-system that provides funding and support for R&D especially among emerging biopharma companies, have resulted in a pipeline of almost 3,500 potential cancer treatments, up 75 percent since 2015
  • Bringing Scientific Advances to Cancer Patients: Access to medicines has been steadily increasing and 9.2 billion DDDs were delivered globally in 2020, but variability across countries remains high. The use of predictive biomarkers to effectively deliver precision medicines to those who will benefit from them remains variable across cancer types and countries
  • Spending on Oncology Medicines: The surge in innovation treatments in recent years, strong focus across health systems to increase early diagnosis and expand patient access to treatments, has resulted in global spending on oncology drugs of $164 billion in 2020, growing to an estimated $269 billion by 2025

The full version of the report, including a detailed description of the methodology, is available at www.IQVIAInstitute.org. The study was produced independently as a public service, without industry or government funding.

About the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science

The IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science contributes to the advancement of human health globally through timely research, insightful analysis and scientific expertise applied to granular non-identified patient-level data.

Fulfilling an essential need within healthcare, the Institute delivers objective, relevant insights and research that accelerate understanding and innovation critical to sound decision making and improved human outcomes. With access to IQVIA’s institutional knowledge, advanced analytics, technology and unparalleled data, the Institute works in tandem with a broad set of healthcare stakeholders to drive a research agenda focused on Human Data Science, including government agencies, academic institutions, the life sciences industry, and payers. More information about the IQVIA Institute can be found at www.IQVIAInstitute.org.


IQVIA (NYSE:IQV) is a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions, and clinical research services to the life sciences industry. IQVIA creates intelligent connections across all aspects of healthcare through its analytics, transformative technology, big data resources and extensive domain expertise. IQVIA Connected Intelligence™ delivers powerful insights with speed and agility — enabling customers to accelerate the clinical development and commercialization of innovative medical treatments that improve healthcare outcomes for patients. With approximately 72,000 employees, IQVIA conducts operations in more than 100 countries.

IQVIA is a global leader in protecting individual patient privacy. The company uses a wide variety of privacy-enhancing technologies and safeguards to protect individual privacy while generating and analyzing information on a scale that helps healthcare stakeholders identify disease patterns and correlate with the precise treatment path and therapy needed for better outcomes. IQVIA’s insights and execution capabilities help biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, medical researchers, government agencies, payers and other healthcare stakeholders tap into a deeper understanding of diseases, human behaviors, and scientific advances, in an effort to advance their path toward cures. To learn more, visit www.iqvia.com.


Nick Childs, IQVIA Investor Relations (nicholas.childs@iqvia.com)


Tor Constantino, IQVIA Media Relations (tor.constantino@iqvia.com)