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Quality Cancer Care Alliance Fall 2019 Leadership Summit

Susan Dentzer on Finding Room to Pay for Expensive, Life-Changing Therapies

To make headroom for expensive, potentially curative therapies in the pipeline, the healthcare needs to remove ineffective care from the system, said Susan Dentzer, visiting fellow at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy.


To make headroom for expensive, potentially curative therapies in the pipeline, the healthcare needs to remove ineffective care from the system, said Susan Dentzer, visiting fellow at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy.

Transcript

How do we balance the desire for innovation with the rising costs of healthcare delivery, particularly in cancer care?

We balance it awkwardly to be frank. We have at least a thousand innovative cancer drugs in the pipeline today, which will be coming to the market over the next several years. Many of them will be life-changing therapies. They will essentially, but not necessarily, be cures, but they really will be disease-modifying therapies. People are going to want them. And we’re going to want to integrate them into our health system.

The issue, I think, on balance is how much of care that we are currently undertaking that is not all that effective can we displace? Therefore, if we bring on board therapies that are even more effective, are we at least achieving higher value even if the costs go up? That, alone, would be a positive. But, let’s face it: We have all kinds of forces that are going to drive us to higher and higher rates of healthcare spending and what is going to happen in cancer, I’m sure, is one of them.

 
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