December 19, 2016 – Cost of Care


Anchor lead: Some women taking breast cancer medicines stop because of their cost, Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you were taking a medicine to keep your breast cancer from coming back, why would you stop? A recent study points to cost as one compelling factor.  William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says neither regulation of insurance coverage nor negotiation of drug prices is likely to prove effective.

Nelson: Much of it is the need for better therapy. I think if you have therapy that’s effective more effective therapy is always going to be the avenue to more cost-effective therapy. One of the bigger issues related to the cost of care is the cost of marginally effective care it ends up being huge because the effectiveness isn’t there. I think that we have the ability to collect data and increasingly will, and we need to collect data about how effective these treatments are, and I believe at that point there’s going to be a very strong incentive for the value of care and then people are going to pay for the value of care. :32

Nelson asserts that things like electronic medical records will provide data on the most efficacious therapies. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.