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This Is How Much Cancer Actually Costs

It’s a well-known fact that medical treatment in the United States can be a costly affair, but the expense of cancer treatment and drugs is becoming increasing debilitating for the average American.

Now, a group of 118 oncologists are drafting recommendations for cheaper medications detailed in a commentary in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

In an editorial release by the Mayo Clinic, lead author Ayalew Tefferi, M.D., stated, “The average gross household income in the U.S. is about $52,000 per year. For an insured patient with cancer who needs a drug that costs $120,000 per year, the out-of-pocket expenses could be as much as $25,000 to $30,000 – more than half their average household income.”

To combat rising drug costs, the group has made a number of recommendations including, but not limited to:

  • Importing drugs from Canada
  • Granting Medicare the right to negotiate prices
  • A review procedure that would help new, cheaper drugs be competitive in the market

Despite these recommendations, the present reality is that, according to a 2015 study by D.H. Howard and colleagues et al, published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, found that cancer drug prices have risen by an average of $8,500 per year over the past 15 years.

This is an outrageous increase.

Did the cost of your cancer treatment give you financial hardship? What should be done to get the cost of cancer drugs under control? Let us know in the comments.

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