New Formula Aims to Help Weigh Value of Cancer Treatments

June 22, 2015

The Wall Street Journal  (Winslow, subscription publication) reported that "a leading oncology group has developed a formula designed to help doctors and patients weigh the value of cancer treatments, in the latest example of rising concern over the  price of new drugs." The The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) said "the framework will serve as the basis for user-friendly, standardized tools that doctors can use with their patients to discuss the relative value of new cancer therapies compared with established treatments. ... ASCO is developing the framework at a time when patients are increasingly affected by the costs of cancer care. Costs have risen sharply in recent years, and cancer drugs are a significant driver of these increases. Newly approved cancer drugs now cost an average of $10,000 per month, with some exceeding $30,000 per month. Many patients are feeling the impact because they pay a significant share of drug costs through health insurance deductibles, co-payments, and other out-of-pocket expenses."