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Cancer Health Main Forums => Insurance, Financial Support and Paying for Care => Topic started by: Cancer Health Editors on December 09, 2019, 08:57:40 am

Title: Cancer and Quality of Life: Financial Toxicity
Post by: Cancer Health Editors on December 09, 2019, 08:57:40 am
A special report from Cancer Health.

A cancer diagnosis often means extreme financial stress—and fights with insurance providers.

When Melinda Bachini’s bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) spread to her lungs three months after surgery—currently the main treatment, offering the only chance for a cure—as a mom of six, she knew she would have to find another way to beat her cancer. Her oncologist found a clinical trial, which was a potential financial godsend since it meant the experimental treatment would be free. But there was a hitch: Bachini’s insurance wouldn’t cover the cost of standard medical care that went along with the trial. “I didn’t even know that was a possibility,” she says. “I just had no idea. I felt like the rug was pulled out from under my feet. I wasn’t willing to put my family in financial distress over the clinical trial, so we didn’t do it.” She and other cancer patients successfully lobbied her home state of Montana to change the law, but it was too late for Bachini to join that particular trial and benefit from her advocacy. (She eventually qualified for a different federally funded clinical trial that paid all her expenses.)

The financial toxicity of cancer—the high price of care,  along with the anxiety and suffering those financial burdens  often cause—is well known. Last spring, a study that analyzed 42 clinical trials of cancer drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration between 2006 and 2015 found that drug costs ranged from $5,454 to $45,004 per month. The average monthly cost more than doubled in that decade, from $7,103 in 2006 to $15,535 in 2015. Prices have continued to rise, and new drugs are prescribed in combination, further increasing costs. With rising co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles for private insurance, patients have to bear more of the costs of treatment. In one study of 9.5 million people diagnosed with cancer, 42.4 percent said they exhausted their entire savings and all their assets within two years of their diagnosis.

Read more...
https://www.cancerhealth.com/article/cancer-quality-life-financial-toxicity