February 22, 2017
As cancer drug costs rise, U.S. cancer patients are more likely than other medical patients to struggle with paying for prescription medications, according to a recent study.
The financial burdens are especially high for patients under age 65 who cannot access Medicare, the government insurance program for the elderly, and for people with multiple medical conditions, researchers say.
The prices of cancer-treating drugs are on the rise and a newer cancer medication can cost over $100,000 per year for each patient, the study team writes in the journal Cancer. In addition, higher insurance deductibles and copayments can mean that patients are paying more out of pocket for medications.
“Financial toxicity is now a well established and generally accepted toxicity related to cancer care,” writes Dr. Daniel Goldstein, an oncologist at Rabin Medical Center in Israel, in an accompanying editorial.