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Eliminating Cost Sharing Could Improve Access to Cancer Care, Says Samantha Watson

If the burden of cost sharing no longer fell on cancer patients, they would be more likely to access care and maintain treatment as prescribed, leading to improved outcomes, according to Samantha Watson, founder and CEO of The Samfund. When faced with high copays, patients are more likely to skip appointments or take only half of their prescribed medications.


If the burden of cost sharing no longer fell on cancer patients, they would be more likely to access care and maintain treatment as prescribed, leading to improved outcomes, according to Samantha Watson, founder and CEO of The Samfund. When faced with high copays, patients are more likely to skip appointments or take only half of their prescribed medications.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How would the elimination of cost sharing affect the experiences of cancer patients?

I don’t know enough about, sort of, the mechanics of cost sharing and what eliminating cost sharing would do to the whole system, but I know that for cancer patients, it wouldn’t suddenly be a free-for-all where everybody was getting more than they needed, because what we see in the young adult population is that young adults just aren’t going to their appointments because they can’t afford it.

If the burden of cost sharing no longer fell on the patient, they would have better access to care. I think young adults, a lot of times when they show at the pharmacy for example and have a very high copay, 1 of 2 things happens. Either they take the medication and they just start taking it half as prescribed because they can’t afford to fill that prescription as often as prescribed, or they skip it.

If they didn’t face that high copay, potentially, they’d be able to take their meds as prescribed, and we all know that that would be better in the long run. So I think, again I don’t know about the larger question of what that would mean, but the impact on the individual would mean that people would be able to get the care that they need. 

 
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