Summary: “As options for cancer patients become increasingly complicated, and expensive, the most influential source for U.S. oncology treatment guidelines will for the first time offer a tool to assess the costs versus benefits of available therapies,” Deena Beasley writes for Reuters. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) says its new tool will provide a clearer picture of the relative value of medication options, particularly in cases where a very expensive therapy does little to improve survival. Doctors developing the measures expect them to shift demand away from less effective treatments, influencing the prices drugmakers are able to charge. They say they are responding to the needs of patients who are having to pay much more for their own care, with higher health insurance premiums, co-payments and deductibles, and want to know the value of their treatments. The NCCN, an alliance of 26 cancer centers, envisions the new tool as a supplement to its widely followed guidelines for oncology care, which set out protocols for treating a range of cancers based on diagnosis, disease stage and other factors, such as age.” Deena Beasley, “New tool will compare costs versus benefits of cancer treatments,” Reuters.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded... More by Jeanne Pinder