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Small bottles filled with a sterile cancer drug. Photo: Hendrik Schmidt/Getty Images

Pharmaceutical investment in cancer treatments has risen drastically over the past decade, as has spending on cancer drugs, but the results have been comparatively small, UC Hastings law professor Robin Feldman argues in a WashPost op-ed.

Why it matters: Every dollar invested in cancer is a dollar that isn't invested elsewhere — for example, in antibiotics.

  • "The greatest risk is not only that our moonshot may fail, but that the nation’s other public health needs will be left in the dust," Feldman writes.
  • U.S. law — including law designed to increase investment in rare diseases — incentivizes companies to invest in cancer, she adds.
  • "By classifying so many cancers as rare diseases afflicting under 200,000 people each, this regulatory setup has unleashed a veritable tidal wave of oncology drugs," she writes.

By the numbers: Since 2013, cancer drug spending as a proportion of all U.S. drug spending has increased by nearly 60%, but the overall death rate from cancer has decreased by only 5% since 1950.

  • Cancer drugs approved between 2003 and 2013 increased survival by an average of 3.4 months.

Go deeper: Pharma goes all in on cancer treatments

Go deeper

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden and Vice President Harris review readiness of military troops, a long-standing tradition to signify the peaceful transfer of power.

20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

President Joe Biden vows to be “a president for all Americans”

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Joe Biden sought to sooth a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, but warned that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

The big picture: Moments after taking the oath of office, Biden spoke on the Capitol’s West front, from the very steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier. They were attempting to overturn an election where Biden defeated former President Donald Trump by more than 7 million votes.

Updated 38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated as president and vice president respectively in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Top Democrats and Republicans gathered for the peaceful transfer of power only two weeks after an unprecedented siege on the building by Trump supporters to disrupt certification of Biden's victory. Trump did not attend Wednesday's ceremony.