Kathy Oubre: How Biosimilars Have Helped Reduce Financial Toxicity in Cancer Care

Kathy Oubre, MS, chief operating officer of Pontchartrain Cancer Center, talks about how biosimilars have been able to help patients avoid financial toxicity related to oncology care costs.

Kathy Oubre, MS, chief operating officer of Pontchartrain Cancer Center, talks about how biosimilars have been able to help patients avoid financial toxicity related to oncology care costs.

Transcript:

What kind of impact have biosimilars made on easing the financial toxicity of cancer treatment, based on your observations and research with the Community Oncology Alliance (COA)?

Biosimilars have had a huge impact within our practice and amongst the COA practices, as shown in our recent biosimilar data project for COA, which supported our working hypothesis that utilization of biosimilars increased access to care and lowered costs to the practices and patients. So, by making the supportive care and therapeutic agents more affordable, we saw a notable increase in access to care, which is patient usage. And in our practice, we saw an average of about a $200 cost savings per treatment for patients when we were able to utilize biosimilars in their treatment plan.

We also saw about a 25% increase in patient access when being able to utilize biosimilars. And we saw this mirrored in our COA data, in which we reviewed about 2.4 million administrations of both innovator as well as biosimilar products, as well as the therapeutic and the supportive care space. So, we saw throughout the whole COA membership, when we looked at that data, it pretty much mirrored what we saw at a practice level, that there was a an increase in access to care and the products, therefore, became more affordable to the practice as well as the patient.

And when you're talking about patient impact and the biosimilar impact on patients, I like to explain it like financing a car. So, the patient's deductible is x and it's always going to be that x, that fixed amount. But when we're considering all of the other patient financial variables, such as food, utilities, and mortgage, utilization of biosimilars can play a large role in whether the patient is satisfying their deductible in a very small 2-month window or being able to spread that out over maybe 6 months or a little bit longer. So, we're spreading out those costs, and thereby, factoring in a decreased financial toxicity or stress to the patient.