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?