ASCO Offers Path to Addressing Affordability of Cancer Drugs in New Position Statement

Excerpt:

“The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today issued a position statement aimed at contributing to the national dialogue on rising cancer drug prices. The statement, which asserts that any solutions must also preserve patients’ access to care and foster innovation, analyzes a wide array of options and recommends that a panel of stakeholders be established to determine which proposals will be effective and develop a uniform approach for assessing the value of drugs.

“The ASCO position statement highlights that new cancer drugs routinely cost more than $100,000 per year, and prices on many existing treatments continue to rise, causing serious financial hardship even for many patients with insurance. Patients with cancer are more than twice as likely to declare bankruptcy as those without cancer;  nearly six in 10 report being distressed about their finances during treatment.  Many patients forego or delay treatments as a result, potentially compromising their effectiveness. Drugs are the fastest growing component of cancer care costs, which are expected to increase by more than 25 percent between 2010 and 2020.”

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Top Oncologists Push Back On ‘Outrageous’ Costs Of Cancer Drugs

“More than 110 doctors from cancer centers around the country called on drug makers to justify their soaring prices and for the government to put regulatory curbs in place. They noted that every new drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2014 was priced at more than $120,000 per year.

The New York Times: Drug Companies Pushed From Far And Wide To Explain High Prices
As complaints grow about exorbitant drug prices, pharmaceutical companies are coming under pressure to disclose the development costs and profits of those medicines and the rationale for charging what they do. So-called pharmaceutical cost transparency bills have been introduced in at least six state legislatures in the last year, aiming to make drug companies justify their prices, which are often attributed to high research and development costs. (Pollack, 7/23)

The Wall Street Journal: Doctors Object To High Cancer-Drug Prices
More than 100 oncologists from top cancer hospitals around the U.S. have issued a harsh rebuke over soaring cancer-drug prices and called for new regulations to control them. The physicians are the latest in a growing roster of objectors to drug prices. Critics from doctors to insurers to state Medicaid officials have voiced alarm about prescription drug prices, which rose more than 12% last year in the U.S., the biggest annual increase in a decade, according to the nation’s largest pharmacy-benefit manager. (Whalen, 7/23)”


Why Drugs Cost So Much

“Eli Lilly charges more than $13,000 a month for Cyramza, the newest drug to treat stomach cancer. The latest medicine for lung cancer, Novartis’s Zykadia, costs almost $14,000 a month. Amgen’s Blincyto, for leukemia, will cost $64,000 a month.

“Why? Drug manufacturers blame high prices on the complexity of biology, government regulations and shareholder expectations for high profit margins. In other words, they say, they are hamstrung. But there’s a simpler explanation.

“Companies are taking advantage of a mix of laws that force insurers to include essentially all expensive drugs in their policies, and a philosophy that demands that every new health care product be available to everyone, no matter how little it helps or how much it costs. Anything else and we’re talking death panels.


IMS Study Shows Cancer Treatment Costs Driven Up by 340B Drug Pricing Program

“The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics issued a detailed report titled, ‘Innovations in Cancer Care and Implications for Health Systems,’ and the Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B said the report shows that the drug discount program is a driver in the rise in treatment costs for patients with cancer.”


IMS Study Shows Cancer Treatment Costs Driven Up by 340B Drug Pricing Program

“The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics issued a detailed report titled, ‘Innovations in Cancer Care and Implications for Health Systems,’ and the Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B said the report shows that the drug discount program is a driver in the rise in treatment costs for patients with cancer.”


IMS Study Shows Cancer Treatment Costs Driven Up by 340B Drug Pricing Program

“The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics issued a detailed report titled, ‘Innovations in Cancer Care and Implications for Health Systems,’ and the Alliance for Integrity and Reform of 340B said the report shows that the drug discount program is a driver in the rise in treatment costs for patients with cancer.”


Cancer Doctors Have Opportunities to Cut Costs Without Risk to Patients, Experts Say

“In a review article published Feb. 14 in The Lancet Oncology, Johns Hopkins experts identify three major sources of high cancer costs and argue that cancer doctors can likely reduce them without harm to patients. The cost-cutting proposals call for changes in routine clinical practice involved in end-of-life care, medical imaging and drug pricing.

” ‘We need to find the best ways to manage costs effectively while maintaining the same, if not better, quality of life among our patients,’ says Thomas Smith, M.D., The Harry J. Duffey Family Professor of Palliative Medicine and professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins.”


Cancer Doctors Have Opportunities to Cut Costs Without Risk to Patients, Experts Say

“In a review article published Feb. 14 in The Lancet Oncology, Johns Hopkins experts identify three major sources of high cancer costs and argue that cancer doctors can likely reduce them without harm to patients. The cost-cutting proposals call for changes in routine clinical practice involved in end-of-life care, medical imaging and drug pricing.

” ‘We need to find the best ways to manage costs effectively while maintaining the same, if not better, quality of life among our patients,’ says Thomas Smith, M.D., The Harry J. Duffey Family Professor of Palliative Medicine and professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins.”


Cancer Doctors Have Opportunities to Cut Costs Without Risk to Patients, Experts Say

“In a review article published Feb. 14 in The Lancet Oncology, Johns Hopkins experts identify three major sources of high cancer costs and argue that cancer doctors can likely reduce them without harm to patients. The cost-cutting proposals call for changes in routine clinical practice involved in end-of-life care, medical imaging and drug pricing.

” ‘We need to find the best ways to manage costs effectively while maintaining the same, if not better, quality of life among our patients,’ says Thomas Smith, M.D., The Harry J. Duffey Family Professor of Palliative Medicine and professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins.”