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Soaring Drug Costs Tax Cancer Patients in the US

Soaring treatment costs are drastically affecting cancer patients in the US, reveals a new survey. This could force affected patients to forgo doctor appointments and even essential drugs.

In the research, 216 patients who had sought assistance for cancer treatment from the nonprofit HealthWell Foundation were surveyed. Only one of them had insurance. 66% had Medicare help, while 83% were helped by prescription drug coverage. 88% of the cancer patients were women, and 76% had breast cancer.

The patients said they spent an average of $712 every month out of their pocket to pay for travel, compensate for lost wages, doctor visits and prescription drugs. This high cost problem was rated “significant” by 30% and “catastrophic” by 11% of the patients. The study was carried out by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Duke University Medical Center.

The financial hardship drastically affected the patients as they consumed fewer medicines and had to make do with less than satisfactory medical care because of soaring expenses. Medical experts say besides the side effects of cancer treatment, the impact of financial problems also needs to be considered by hospital counselors who deal with cancer patients.

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