For cancer patients, life can be full of worry, pain and the stress of needing to take time off from a job. On top of that, many are struggling with a huge jump in the average price tag for branded oncology treatments, which have doubled to $10,000 per month in just a decade. During the same period, the consumer price index has increased by 23 percent.
That jump is contributing to a surge in global spending on oncology treatments, which reached a whopping $91 billion last year, according to a new report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. The U.S. is the largest segment of that market, with American patients and their insurers paying $37.2 billion for oncology treatments in 2013.
The high cost of some new cancer drugs has raised ethical questions, as more than 100 cancer specialists last year wrote in a commentary that drug prices of $100,000 or more for treatments could be viewed as profiteering and may be causing financial harm to patients.
Some insured patients in the U.S. may be on the hook for covering 20 percent of their drug payments, no small matter when the monthly price for a prostate cancer treatment called Provenge is more than $71,000, according to the IMS study.
Read more at CBS NEWS.