Why cancer treatment is expensive?
Cancer is one of the noxious diseases which causes huge deaths every year. But with the advent of new technology, now, a plethora of treatments are available for cancer. Most of these treatments are very expensive and they will certainly burn your pocket. Why cancer treatment is so expensive? Even hospitals which provide the best cancer treatment in India charges a lot from the patients who are suffering from cancer. Here, we are going to mention some of the reasons which are responsible for the expensive treatment of cancer.
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The cost of cancer drugs is always high, with several lifesaving agents costing more than $100,000 a year. Many experts believe that the high cost of research and development (R&D) is a prime reason why drug costs are high. The healthcare experts are continuously doing medical researches to find out new drugs which can kill or arrest the growth of cancerous cells. According to the scientists and medical researchers bringing a new drug to market is valued at $2.6 Billion (of which $1.2 Billion are time costs).
Supply and demand:
a drug which is developed for a condition if troubles only a few people, it is given an orphan drug status. The price of drug development will always be high to repay drug development costs. But a drug which is used for a disease of the masses should not be very expensive. A company called Dendreon used their drug Provenge to treat advanced prostate cancer. The Provenge cost was $93,000 per treatment and boosted survival by only 4 months. This drug affected the reputation of the company and eventually leads the company into bankruptcy. The fault line in this exceptionally pure appearing surface had been exposed. But we have learnt two important lessons from this case. One, the concept of using immunity against malignancies and two, you should carefully price your product with limited benefit.
Oncologists in the delivery of care:
Many physicians or doctors use expensive medicine for his or her benefit. They often employ excess diagnostics to treat patients. Most of the doctors use diagnostic procedures to differentiate actual illness and use cancer drugs based on the data they have for the benefits of their patients. This thought may contradict to the thoughts of the companies because it doesn’t follow their narrative. Most of the companies are not transparent while providing the cost of the drug. The reputed and well-known oncologists offer treatment based on the best benefit against the malignancy and not necessarily based on the cost of the drugs. The prime aim of the doctors is to cure their patients. The pharma and biotech companies know the philosophy of doctors and hence, they used to do pricing of their products according to their cost.
Intermediaries play an imperative role in the field of oncology care. If the patient can’t afford the medicines, then the volume will dry up and the cost of the product will go down. But must remember that there will be no intermediaries in this process who used to fetch their money.
These are some reasons which make cancer treatment expensive for the patients. But everyone needs to educate themselves regarding the pricing of the treatment so that they can’t easily get hoodwinked by the pharma and biotech companies.
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