The large majority of advanced colon cancer patients, 90%, have no concerns about the cost of prescription drugs for managing chemotherapy side effects. These side effects include infection, pain and nausea. Very few of these patients did anything to reduce their drug cost after becoming a participant of the clinical trial, according to a study released by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. The study’s findings were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. on Friday, May 29.
“We were reassured to learn that few patients enrolled in the clinical trial engaged in coping strategies to minimize the impact of prescription drug costs, but we also recognize that these findings may not generalize to patients treated outside the clinical trial context,” reported Deborah Schrag, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farberthe, the study’s lead author.
DR Schrag did express concern, however that given the current state of the economy, with a growing number of people losing their jobs, “we could witness growing anxiety among cancer patients about their ability to pay for medications that may help them adhere to their therapy.”
“The cost of cancer care today does force patients to make some hard financial decisions,” said Schrag. “As oncologists, we need to be mindful that this issue may be a concern for some patients and that communication about this topic both may help alleviate anxiety and identify strategies to minimize the cost burden.”