It’s no secret that cancer treatment is expensive. So what happens when you can’t afford treatment? The quick and painful answer: you die, painfully. A group consisting of 118 leading cancer experts have started a movement against this by drafting a proposal to help the less fortunate with their problems.
The proposal’s goal is simple: to reduce the cost of cancer drugs while supporting a grassroots protests to force drug companies to charge lesser—or fairer— values for their treatments.
According to Mayo Clinic hematologist Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, lead author of the paper “It’s time for patients and their physicians to call for change.”
To put the problems to scale: the cost of cancer drugs is about $120,000 a year. Even with insurance coverage, an average citizen still has to pay $30,000 out-of-pocket. That’s more than half the average income of an average U.S. household of $52,000.
The current issue is that anyone who wants to live will pay. The demand is huge, and there are many who can supply, but those who can afford are few. The proposal want to rectify this problem by having governing entities composed of disease experts, company representatives, government entities including Medicare and other major insurers, and patients to help regulate drug prices.