How to stop cancer from burning a hole in your family’s pocket

It is an open secret that the cost of cancer drugs can burn a hole right through your pocket. The expenditure of the treatment takes its toll on the patient as well as the family members. There is a social, economic and physical burden associated with cancer. Researchers have even coined a term to describe the acute distress caused by the rise in expenditure of cancer treatment; “financial toxicity.”

The cost of cancer treatment drugs is unusually high in the U.S. compared to other parts of the world. As the market trend has been all around the globe, the price of a commodity usually rises along the inflation rate which is around 3%. But in case of cancer drugs in the U.S. the prices have been going up much above the rate of inflation. According to a report published by the Journal of Oncology Practice, the prices for the top 10 cancer drugs in America are approximately 42% higher than the U.K.  

Planning your treatment

Armed with the knowledge of what to expect with respect to the medical expense of cancer treatment can help you plan your finances better. The key components that contribute to the high cost of cancer treatment are as follows;

  • Oncologist charges, care-provider visitations for treatment and clinic visits including therapy charges
  • Lab tests which include blood tests, urine sampling
  • Diagnostic procedures which consist of room, equipment and specialist charges
  • Imaging tests like x-rays, MRIs and CT scans
  • Radiation treatments and drug costs
  • Expenditure for surgical procedures if and when required which include surgeons, pathologists, anesthesiologists, and operating room charges
  • Charges for hospital stays and home care which can consist of equipment, drugs and specialist caregivers.

The Prescription Discount Program at Pharma Quotes partnered by the nation’s leading Pharmacy Benefit Managers offers significant rate reductions for over 4000+ prescription drugs including cancer treatment prescription medicines.

Key points to keep in mind

Out-of-pocket costs are likely to be high in case of cancer treatment because your health insurance will not cover all the expenses. Thus it is imperative to make sure that the insurance company reimburses the bulk of the medical cost.

  • Be aware of the terms of the insurance policy which include the extent of the insurance coverage for hospital charges, chemotherapy and drug costs
  • Keep tabs on the permitted network of specialists and clinics
  • Maintain a careful record of the treatment procedures undertaken and the expenditure
  • Research about less expensive and generic drugs that might work as well
  • Plan for rehab and long-term homecare

The price for cancer drugs tends to increase at a sharp rate even when there is competition in the market. This attribute owed to the fact that drug makers buy out multiple competitors to reinstate the monopoly. Around one-fourth of the patients who have cancer in the U.S. have been forced to postpone prescriptions, avoiding full dosage to cut costs because of the current state of matters. No one is benefitting from this upward spiraling of price except the drug manufacturers.


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