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.
- The global market for oncology therapeutic medicines will reach as much as $200 billion by 2022, averaging 10 to 13 percent growth over the next five years, with the U.S. market reaching as much as $100 billion by 2022, averaging 12 to 15 percent growth.
- Spending on cancer drugs has doubled over the past five years.
- The average cost of a new drug released in 2017 was $150,000.
- Cancer drug costs are expected to double again by 2022.
- While cancer rates and rates of death have been steadily dropping, drug spending will go up.
- Americans paid twice as much as Canadians for health care, but they didn’t get twice the benefit, according to a new study of patients with advanced colorectal cancer who lived, in some cases, mere miles from each other.
- The increase in cancer drug prices in the last 15 years has many contributing factors and is harming our patients and our health care system.
- With typical out-of-pocket expenses of 20% to 30%, the financial burden of cancer treatment would be $20,000 to 30,000 a year, nearly half of the average annual household income in the United States. Many patients (estimated 10% to 20%) may decide not to take the treatment or may compromise significantly on the treatment plan. Source: Journal of Oncology Practice
- The cost of new anti-cancer drugs increased more than fivefold from 2006 to 2015.
- Anticancer medications account for the lion’s share of global drug spending, and the average price per month of these drugs is known to have more than doubled in recent years
- Cost is not connected with benefit, and cost is going up quickly, and benefit is highly variable.
- ASCO and other groups are supporting efforts to make cancer drug costs relate to their effectiveness.
KEY TAKEAWAY: When the head of the FDA says “[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]far too many patients find themselves in “a financial no-man’s land” because of shouldering the costs of cancer medications”[/inlinetweet] you know that something is terribly wrong. The fact is that patients and caregivers couldn’t give a damn about who is responsible for high drug costs they just want to empty life savings because of treatments.
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.