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Economics of Cancer Care

The treatment of patients with brain metastases involves issues of controlling recurrence, side effects, and costs.
Copenhagen, Denmark—Current follow-up strategy for patients with prostate cancer was found to be the least cost-effective approach in an analysis conducted in Europe.
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).
Implementing a clinical pathway for stage IV non–small-cell lung cancer led to a reduction in chemotherapy drug costs at the Cleveland Clinic.
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.
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.
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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  • Rheumatology Practice Management
  • Lynx CME
  • American Health & Drug Benefits
  • Value-Based Cancer Care
  • Value-Based Care in Myeloma
  • Value-Based Care in Neurology