Cancer patients are locked in an intensifying struggle with insurers, who sometimes force them to try less expensive drugs before moving to more expensive ones, even against doctors’ wishes.
Now the American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO, is deepening its involvement in the fight, issuing a set of recommendations Tuesday that it hopes insurers will follow as they confront a growing lineup of expensive cancer drugs.
The recommendations focus on an array of insurance industry practices that fall under the rubric of “utilization management strategies,” including prior authorization and “step therapy” guidelines that obligate patients to try cheaper medicines early in the treatment process.
The situation in a country without universal health care…
Well, Mr Teagarden is refreshingly candid. ‘With the exception of federally subsidized health plans and a few others, an insurers’ primary responsibility is “not the health of the people they cover.” ‘ Makes me think we need non-profit insurers as many countries have.
Of course, we also need cheaper cancer drugs, because even if insurers made no profits, current prices are unaffordable, absurd and cruel. Don’t know how pharma execs sleep at night.
Here’s a link to the statement:
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