| 6 January, 2021

Investing in health technologies to prevent cancer

María Arroyo Third party products

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, reaching 9.6 million deaths in 2018. According to WHO forecasts, cancer deaths will increase worldwide until 2030, from 8 to 13 million annually.

In addition to the devastating emotional and physical consequences and being a complex disease, cancer has a significant economic impact. According to a recent study by the Spanish Association Against Cancer, it is estimated that for Spanish society alone, between direct and indirect medical costs, cancer costs around 19,300 million euros, of which 45% is borne by the patient’s relatives. Worldwide, the cost is estimated to be as high as 1.18 trillion US dollars.

New health technologies

Researchers around the world are working every day to put an end to this disease, by seeking to:

– Precision treatment technology to improve outcomes and reduce side effects.
– More effective medication, to enable the immune system itself to fight these diseases.
– Better diagnostic methods.
– More optimal treatments, to find the right solution for a specific patient.

On the part of national and transnational regulatory authorities, more dynamic mechanisms are being developed to speed up the availability of innovative treatments, including marketing authorizations, defining therapeutic strategies, setting prices of medicines, and so on.

The variety of treatments available and the multiple combinations of products provide more alternatives for patients, who will be able to benefit from the cancer revolution. Cancer is a major problem for society in general and has therefore become one of the priorities of public health.

According to the international health data consultant IQVIA, the oncology market will be the main driver of global pharmaceutical growth in the coming years, with an estimated annual growth rate of between 6 and 9%. The oncology market will be driven by productive R&D (research and development).

The progress made in numerous trials may offer very interesting opportunities for investors. Different vehicles, such as investment funds or ETFs, give investors the possibility to support medical research and, in doing so, join the fight against cancer by generating an impact investment, with a common long term objective. Some of these funds donate part of the fund management fee to charities and health technology companies, related to the whole cancer treatment value chain (diagnosis, research, etc.). As a result, in addition to promoting cancer prevention by investing in technological improvements, part of it is donated to research. Besides being a profitable investment.

At BBVA in Switzerland, we are committed to socially responsible investment that generates a positive impact on society, this being one of our strategic objectives.