Prices for new cancer therapies have increased to up to $10,000 a month for a single drug, causing dismay among patients and insurance companies alike.
Cancer drug costs rose nearly 16 percent last year, while other prescription drugs averaged a 3 percent price increase. Avastin, which is used to treat colorectal cancer, currently sells for $50,000, and that price could jump to $100,000 if Avastin is also approved to treat breast and lung cancers.
What's more, these expensive medications often only give patients a few more months of life, making many question whether or not the price tag is worth it. Erbitux costs nearly $10,000 a month, but no studies have shown that it even helps colorectal cancer patients live longer.
The bulk of the cost of these drugs is often handed off to taxpayers, since many cancer patients are covered by Medicare. However, many patients must pay at least part of the costs, and some are turning down care because they cannot afford the expense. USA Today July 11, 2006
Chemomotherapy Causes Cancer
"A study of over 10,000 patients shows clearly that chemo's supposedly strong track record with Hodgkin's disease (lymphoma) is actually a lie. Patients who underwent chemo were 14 times more likely to develop leukemia and 6 times more likely to develop cancers of the bones, joints, and soft tissues than those patients who did not undergo chemotherapy (NCI Journal 87:10)."-John Diamond
Children who are successfully treated for Hodgkin's disease are 18 times more likely later to develop secondary malignant tumors. Girls face a 35 percent chance of developing breast cancer by the time they are 40 - which is 75 times greater than the average. The risk of leukemia increased markedly four years after the end of successful treatment, and reached a plateau after 14 years, but the risk of developing solid tumors remained high and approached 30 percent at 30 years. (New Eng J Med. March 21, 1996)
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