Defining the Value of Innovation in Oncology - Episode 7

Financial Crisis: A High Price to Pay for New Treatment Options

Peter Salgo, MD, and Bryan Loy, MD, examine the financial impact of new treatment options in medical oncology. Dr Salgo notes that due to cost sharing, premiums and deductibles continue to increase, and treatment costs place a heavy burden on patients.

Dr Loy remarks that the nation is already in a financial crisis, and discusses why price sensitivity discussions need to occur sooner rather than later. He explains that while policy changes can assist in the introductory stages of new innovations and in the design of future clinical trials, there are instances when patients do not have the financial resources available to fund the treatment recommended for them. Also, patients who are insured may experience financial difficulties related to deductible requirements or out-of-pocket expenses that force them to consider discontinuing treatment.

Discussions on how to handle the financial burden of a catastrophic illness should not take place only when patients have exhausted their resources, but rather as early as possible, adds Dr Loy.