Charlotte Huff
The deadliness of liver cancer is undisputed, but a growing body of data shows that too often, patients, and particularly those who are uninsured or nonwhite, miss out on earlier diagnosis and potentially life-saving surgery.
Jeremy Schafer
The breast cancer mortality rate in 2012 declined 49% compared with the expected baseline, and 63% of that reduction was from treatment drugs. You’d think that patients would take their cancer medicines no matter what. But when cost sharing reached between $100 and $500, the abandonment rate soared to 32%.
Richard Mark Kirkner
A federal bill would expand access to experimental treatments, but critics say right to try would take away FDA oversight and create a ‘Wild West.’ Meanwhile, most states’ right-to-try laws have gone unused.

News Wire

Scientists find new molecular target for developing safer pain medications
Drug used in combination with bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone
Six states will also participate in the litigation
First drug approved to treat MS in patients as young as 10 years old
Are we seeing the beginning of the end of the independent physician? Between July 2015 and July 2016, U.S. hospitals bought up 5,000 independent physician practices. In 2012, about 14% of practices were owned by hospitals. Four years later, that percentage had more than doubled to 29%.
Eric Bender
The drugs often are more effective and have fewer side effects. The science—often just amazing. Medically, cancer treatment has never been in a better place. But are high prices making it unaffordable? Payers, providers, policymakers, and drugmakers themselves are wrestling with the issue. Meanwhile, many patients are being priced out of treatments that could save their lives.
Michael D. Dalzell
The architects of Medical Episode Spending Allowance benefits are radically reframing coverage as allowances for episodes of care and have a plan for engaging members in making better choices.

Miracles Aren’t Cheap: How Can the Health Care System Pay for New Cancer Treatments?

Lee Newcomer, MD, a former senior vice president at UnitedHealthcare puts it succinctly in our cover story: “We have a limited set of dollars.”

Take CAR-T therapies, for example. Our story shows just how financially perplexing this can get. The $475,000 one-time cost of Kymriah exceeds the cost for conventional chemotherapy by almost $330,000. It would also provide a child with about eight extra years of life on average. Who’s going to say “no?”

One way of dealing with price concerns is through indication-specific drug pricing. The idea is gaining steam, and an IMS report states that by 2020 most new oncology drugs will have three or more indications.

Does anyone have any solution about balancing cost, outcomes, and human decency?


June 11-12, 2018
June 11-12, 2018
June 11-12, 2018
June 17-18, 2018
Thomas Reinke
They take the brakes off the immune system so it attacks cancer cells. But many people don’t respond to checkpoint inhibitors, so researchers are looking for ways to defeat the resistance.
Cancer survivors were better able to afford care and did not see delays in treatment from 2010 through 2016, the years when the ACA was phased in. But researchers were unable to make a definite connection because many of the ACA’s coverage changes did not come about until January 2014.
Some hospitals are making house calls these days as they experiment with delivery of high-intensity care in people’s homes. Taking the hospital out of hospitalization might be safer and less expensive than conventional inpatient care. Median direct costs of the home patients were half that (52% lower) of the control patients who received conventional hospital care.