Dr Jeff Sharman: Cost of Therapy Is a Major Challenge in CLL

As treatment moves to pill-based regimens in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the cost for patients is increasing, explained Jeff Sharman, MD, medical oncologist, Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center; medical director, The US Oncology Network.


What are the biggest challenges with treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)?

The biggest issue currently for management of patients with CLL is the cost of therapy. Historically, chemoimmunotherapy approaches were given through intravenous medications and the way insurance works, often times that resulted in lower direct costs for patients. The field is moving now to an oral therapy-based regimen, and unfortunately, that’s often times associated with significant copayment barriers for patients. So, with some of our most effective treatments, which are pill-based treatments, keeping patients on therapy represents one of the biggest barriers to a successful outcome.
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