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Medicineworld.org: The Economics Of Chemotherapy

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The Economics Of Chemotherapy

The Economics Of Chemotherapy
How much money is reimbursed may affect the choice of chemotherapy drugs of oncologist according to a new study. However payment methods did not have any affect whether doctors favor chemotherapy over other therapys.

The study, done by scientists from the University of Michigan and Harvard University, covered only physicians in the United States. This study can be seen in current issue of the academic journal Health Affairs.

The study has observed that once the decision to use chemotherapy is made, the current payment system appears to prompt some physicians to use more expensive drugs, the study found. The research found that providers who were more generously reimbursed prescribed more costly chemotherapy regimens to metastatic breast, colorectal and lung cancer patients.

Oncology practice is unique in the sense that the doctor can dispense his or her own drugs in the clinic. A number of times profit derived from the chemotherapy drugs may be a factor in the choice of specific chemotherapy drugs. These oncologists are paid for the cost of the chemotherapy drugs given intravenously in their offices, even though they frequently purchase the drugs at lower prices than the amounts they are paid in insurance reimbursements.

Critics of the drug reimbursement policy say that a potential conflict of interest among oncologists advising patients on therapy, while cancer doctors argue that profit is needed to pay the high cost of running their practices. Unlike other office practices an oncology requires more office space, chemotherapy chairs and skilled chemotherapy nurses. They also argue that revenue allows patients to be treated in their offices, rather than in the hospital, which is more expensive and less convenient to patients.

A spokesperson of the with the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Dr. Joseph Bailes, disputed the study's findings, saying that cancer doctors selected therapys on the basis of clinical evidence only. Newer drugs are more expensive and are likely to have higher reimbursements. He argues that some of the oncologists maybe just trying to use newer drugs, which may be automatically bringing more reimbursement.




Did you know?
How much money is reimbursed may affect the choice of chemotherapy drugs of oncologist according to a new study. However payment methods did not have any affect whether doctors favor chemotherapy over other therapys. The study, done by scientists from the University of Michigan and Harvard University, covered only physicians in the United States. This study can be seen in current issue of the academic journal Health Affairs.

Medicineworld.org: The Economics Of Chemotherapy

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