Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Doctors are factoring in costs too

Last week, I blogged about insurance companies wanting their money back if one of the expensive drugs don't work. Now oncologists are going to start tracking the effects, side effects, and costs of the expensive cancer drugs.

In recent years, I have had doctors suggest drugs to me and also comment on their costs. In previous years, I do not remember hearing about costs. And they are now quick to pass along any savings cards available from the manufacturers.

"Alarmed by the rapid escalation in the prices of cancer drugs, the nation’s leading oncology society unveiled Monday a new way for doctors and patients to evaluate different treatments — one that pointedly includes a medicine’s cost as well as its effectiveness and side effects.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology’s “value framework” is part of a change in thinking among doctors, who once largely chose drugs based on medical attributes alone. The major cardiology societies, for instance, are also starting to factor cost into their evaluations of drugs."

It is definitely the time to do this. Drugs that cost north of $10,000 per month are cost prohibitive for many, especially financially strained cancer patients. And drug companies do not seem to care about that. They care about their bottom line and how much they can charge.

So now if insurance companies and doctors are going to start pushing back on the drugs, maybe they will listen.


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