Advances in medical technology are causing a costly increase in most fields of medicine, and oncology is no exception. The high prices of individual drugs are creating a difficult situation for patients and oncologists, who are inadequately prepared for these challenges. Cancer patients are unfamiliar with having to make difficult trade-offs between very high out-of-pocket costs and very expensive treatment with measurable but sometimes modest health benefits. As well, oncologists are often conflicted about how the cost of care should affect their behavior.
Currently, ASCO is addressing the cost of cancer care through education of both health care providers and patients, integration of cost into evidence-based medicine, policy, and research.
Value in Cancer Care Task Force
The Cost of Cancer Care Task Force provides leadership and oversight of ASCO’s cancer cost activities and assists in the implementation of the cancer cost components within ASCO’s mission and strategic plan. The task force reviews and assesses ASCO’s cost of cancer care portfolio (cancer education, clinical guidelines, patient information, policy, publications, and research) and works to enhance the quality and quantity of cancer cost material in each program. Furthermore, the committee ensures ASCO’s interests in cancer cost are represented in the larger cancer community.