Economics of Cancer Care
Gone are the days when patients with cancer were, for the most part, protected from healthcare costs by their medical insurance. According to a recent study sponsored by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and conducted by Ronan J. Kelly, MD, MBA, MBBCh, Assistant Professor of Oncology, Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baltimore, and colleagues, with high deductibles, escalating copayments, and cost-sharing requirements becoming the status quo, patients with cancer are now, more than ever, feeling the effects of financial toxicity, particularly young patients who are especially susceptible to filing for medical bankruptcy (Kelly RJ, et al. J Oncol Pract. 2015;11:308-312).
Chicago, IL—It is not a surprise that targeted therapies are the main drivers of spending on anticancer drugs in the United States. At the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, researchers presented data from several major cancer centers about the cost of targeted therapies.
Chicago, IL—An analysis of chemotherapy infusion by Aetna shows that approximately 75% of their patients still receive chemotherapy in a community oncology setting, suggested Michael A. Kolodziej, MD, National Medical Director for Oncology Strategy, Aetna at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.
Chicago, IL—An economic analysis presented by Daniel Goldstein, MD, of Emory University, Atlanta, GA, at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, was conducted to see at what price will necitumumab (which is currently being reviewed by the FDA for use in metastatic squamous-cell lung cancer) be cost-effective. According to this analysis, necitumumab will have to be priced at less than $1300 per cycle to be cost-effective based on the accepted willingness-to-pay threshold of $150,000.
Increasing Use of Value Analysis Committees in US Hospitals: Implications for Healthcare Providers and Manufacturers
Philadelphia, PA—The growing focus on identifying and preventing overpayments and reducing waste in the healthcare system has prompted hospitals to adopt value analysis committees to curb unnecessary medical supply spending. In 2012, as many as 64% of US hospitals were using a value analysis committee to evaluate new devices and new supplies used in their institutions.
The New PC-SAF Instrument: A Patient-Reported Outcome Tool for Identifying the Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
Philadelphia, PA—The prognosis for patients with pancreatic cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, remains poor. The diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is often delayed to a late stage, which affects impact. Improving the understanding of the early signs and symptoms of this cancer may improve outcomes.
A reevaluation of the value of cancer care between 1982 and 2010 in the United States versus Western Europe (Soneji S, Yang JW. Health Aff [Millwood]. 2015;34:390-397) paints an entirely different picture from a similar analysis published in 2012 (Philipson T, et al. Health Aff [Millwood]. 2012;31:667-675). The earlier study found significant improvements in breast and prostate cancer survival in the United States relative to Western Europe, concluding that the high costs in the United States were worth it.
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