Dr Thomas Graf on the Impact of New Therapies in Oncology

Thomas Graf, MD, chief medical officer and vice president, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, discusses the impact of increases in drug prices on oncology stakeholders.

Thomas Graf, MD, chief medical officer and vice president, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, discusses the impact of increases in drug prices on oncology stakeholders.

Trascript

What is the impact of novel therapies on oncology stakeholders?

The whole challenge with healthcare these days is the total cost of care, and these new cancer therapies have really changed the cost paradigm. So, going from drugs that were hundreds or thousands of dollars to drugs that are hundreds of thousands of dollars has an impact on employers, it’s likely to raise the total cost of care, certainly the patient out-of-pocket expense with high deductible plans can be a real factor. But, the biggest impact is really on hospitals and insurance providers because therapies that are administered in inpatient are often included within a DRG, and that cost obviously blows up what the traditional DRG is. For those that are outpatient, it’s an added cost to the insurers, and the ability to understand what those costs are in an appropriately priced product when they’re selling them, (ie passing them on to the ultimate payer). It’s a real revolution in the costs of understanding how to manage this kind of cost in the explosion of new therapies is a real challenge, and figuring that out is gonna be the next few year’s work.