The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) commends 60 Minutes for highlighting the fast-rising costs of cancer drugs in its thought-provoking story, “The Eye Popping Cost of Cancer Drugs,” that aired on October 5, 2014.
As this piece underscores, many patients with cancer are increasingly burdened by the costs of their care—an issue that ASCO has been working to address through multiple efforts for several years. As the physicians who care for patients with cancer, we recognize that high costs are causing many patients and families to face impossible choices during the most difficult time of their lives, with some patients delaying potentially life-saving treatments and others forced into personal bankruptcy.
ASCO is focused on defining and improving the overall value of cancer care. We believe that the value proposition must take into account the combination of treatment benefits, side-effects and costs as different treatment options are considered by patients and their physicians. Currently, ASCO is developing a tool that physicians will be able to use with their patients in daily clinical practice to assess and discuss the relative value of treatment options. ASCO is also advocating reform of our nation’s current physician payment system to reflect the full range of medicines and services patients need.
ASCO is committed to ensuring that all patients have access to high-quality, high-value cancer care and invites others who share our mission of improving cancer patient care to join us in this effort.