The Price we pay for Cancer – Costly Chemo drugs

June 22, 2017

How are Chemotherapy drugs used?

There are more than 100 types of chemo drugs that are used in different protocols to treat cancer. They can be used alone or in combination with additional chemotherapy drugs and/or treatments. These drugs differ in their chemical composition, how they are administered, their effectiveness in treating diverse cancers, as well as their side effects.

Chemotherapy drugs target cells at distinct phases of the process of forming new cells, called the cell cycle. Understanding how these drugs work helps doctors predict which drugs are likely to work well together. Doctors can also plan how often doses of each drug should be given based on the timing of the cell phases.

Chemo drugs

High costs of life-saving drugs

The dramatic increase in cancer drug prices over the last 20 years is due to many reasons. There is no doubt that it is working against our patients and our health care system. Bottom Line: Chemo drug prices are too high! The moral line that this issue presents is between profiting or exploiting the patient who just received a life-threatening diagnosis and may not be able to afford treatment. A typical cancer patient’s out-of-pocket expense ranges from 20 to 30 percent of their annual income. 

Conventional versus Alternative Cancer therapy

Many cancer patients are faced with some serious questions when it comes to their healthcare due to the high costs of treatment. Whether they can afford going the conventional or alternative route when treating their specific cancer is the first major concern. (More often than not, patients are forced into conventional therapy because of the terms of their health insurance plans.) 

Also, if a patient decides or would prefer an alternative cancer therapy, then the question is how expensive do the chemo drugs make their treatment. This can make or break the final decisions for a patient of whether to go forward with the treatment they want, versus what they can afford. Bringing to light the real issue with the cost of chemo drugs, if they are making treatment unaffordable or inaccessible it is ultimately causing harm to both the patient & our healthcare system overall.

Cancer Patient Advocacy at NHWC

At Natural Horizons when you are in our Comprehensive Cancer program we offer several financing options for treatment.  These options include:

-Life Credit Company (LCC): offers financial medical support through an innovative program that allows patients diagnosed with cancer to qualify for a loan against their life insurance policy. 

-Care Credit: offers patients a healthcare credit card that helps pay for treatments & procedures not covered by insurance.

-Patient Advocates: for each cancer patient they now have an advocate assigned to their case to work on the process it takes to prior authorize their chemo drugs through their insurance companies and have these delivered directly to our offices prior to treatment. This process lowers the cost of the patient’s chemotherapy treatment and the out-of-pocket expense that their insurance company will not cover.

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