The average cost of new cancer drugs in 2016 was $172,000

KEY TAKEAWAY:  Wells Fargo analysts, in a new report, discovered that the average sale, rebate and allowance (SRA) offered to payers has jumped from 28% to 41% since 2012.  But even with the discount(s) list prices remain high. According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, the average cost of new cancer drugs approved by the FDA in 2016 was $172,000.  Continue reading

ASCO: Oncology drug prices expected to increase 20% per year for next seven years

KEY TAKEWAY: Per ASCO “specialty medications accounted for 37% of drug spending in 2015, and projections are that they will account for 50% of all drug spending by 2018. Oncology drug pricing is expected to increase at a rate of 20% per year for the next several years. Health care expenditures, including drug costs, have become a major cause of personal bankruptcy, and financial toxicity has become a common term used to describe the financial distress that accompanies the treatment of patients with cancer”.  Continue reading

The coming crisis in health care

KEY TAKEAWAY: The U.S. is not prepared for the coming crisis in healthcare that could have a damaging effect of caregivers as well as patients.  The crisis consists of two parts: first, there is the rising cost of new prescription drugs, especially those to treat cancer.  Second, is the costs of extended care at a time when Congress is trying to gut Medicaid. Continue reading

Cancer-drug prices are not related to the value of the drug

screenshot_252KEY TAKEAWAY: As ASCO is well under way the issue of drug pricing is once again taking center stage.  “These drugs cost too much,” Leonard Saltz, chief of gastrointestinal oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said in a speech heard by thousands of doctors here for the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Continue reading

Prices of new cancer drugs are “absolutely immoral.”

Wilko-Johnson-refuses-cancer-treatment-after-last-diagnosisPOST SUMMARY: According to the Dallas Morning News, five years ago, cancer treatment accounted for just $157 billion of the nation’s annual $2.6 trillion health bill. Propelled by new drugs and an aging population, however, cancer spending is rising quickly. A forecast from the National Cancer Institute said spending could hit $207 billion by the end of the decade. Continue reading

Doctors question the high cost of some cancer drugs

article-new_ehow_images_a06_cp_l0_understanding-deductible-maximum-out_of_pocket-co_pays-800x800Doctors and researchers, who specialize in the potentially deadly blood cancer known as chronic myeloid leukemia, contend in a commentary published online by a medical journal Thursday that the prices of drugs used to treat that disease are astronomical, unsustainable and perhaps even immoral.They suggested that charging high prices for a medicine needed to keep someone alive is profiteering, akin to jacking up the prices of essential goods after a natural disaster and they are quite correct.  It comes down to a very simple principle; drug companies understand that no insurer is going to turn down the request of a patient with cancer for medication even if the medication will only keep them alive for a short while with a deteriorating quality of life.   Continue reading