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Dr Thomas Marsland on Financial Toxicity

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Thomas Marsland, MD, talks about financial toxicity and the effect it has on patients.

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Thomas Marsland, MD, talks about financial toxicity and the effect it has on patients.

Transcript:

While new, innovative therapies are often being developed in cancer care, these treatments can be extremely expensive. How is financial toxicity affecting patients, and how can it be mitigated?

So, I think that is the biggest challenge we face. We have these great new therapies, but they come at a fairly significant cost. But I think, as one of the other speakers mentioned this morning, the cost of the drug is only one part of a spectrum of costs. You know, it’s the cost of the administration, the cost of managing the toxicities, the hospitalizations, the emergency room visits [etc]. So I think, if all you’re looking at is the cost of the drug, and that drug is ‘x’, versus a drug whose cost is less—but if you’re looking at it as a continuum or more of what they call an episode of care, it may be that although the drug costs more, when you look at the total spectrum of care over a period of time, it may be that the drug actually saves money when you look at other pieces of the thing. A couple of the medical directors from several of the big payer communities have made a point that clearly drug cost is a significant piece, but it’s not the largest piece; I mean end of life care, you know… so appropriate planning, using the drug at the right time and for the right patients I think is one way that we can help to manage that cost and allow patients to get the type of care that they need.


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