OPENING: American cancer patients spent more than $21 billion on their care in 2019. That $21.09 billion included out-of-pocket costs of $16.22 billion and patient time costs of $4.87 billion. As cancer survival rates rise, so do the price tags of life-saving treatments. Monthly drugs costs may reach $100,000, causing many Americans to struggle with the physical and emotional effects of high out-of-pocket medical costs. Even worse, others are completely priced out of the hope for a cure
SUMMARY: The U.S. needs to take substantial steps to address the high costs of cancer drugs. From 2009 to 2019, the median monthly treatment costs for new drugs at launch reached $11,755 in the U.S… Does the question become how much is a month(s) of other life worth?
- Scientists say lower smoking rates, earlier detection, and better drugs are responsible for a steady decline in cancer deaths since 1991.
- The U.S. cancer death rate dropped 2.2 percent in 2017 compared with 2016, a record decline that was part of a 29 percent overall drop in the cancer death rate since 1991.
- That translates to about 3 million fewer cancer deaths in the past three decades.
- But cancer patients are 2.5 times more likely to file for bankruptcy after they are diagnosed, according to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, based in Seattle.