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What would you say if a cancer patient could be given a lower dose of a pricey treatment that was not only equally effective, but could also save a bundle of money?

That’s the proposition being advanced by some leading oncologists, who are promoting what they call value-based prescribing, which involves giving patients fewer or less frequent doses. The notion is being increasingly talked up as concerns mount over the rising cost of medicines and, consequently, the so-called financial toxicity that more patients are said to be experiencing.


So in a new analysis, the oncologists examined dosing and costs for 56 cancer pills approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and found what they believe are “identifiable strategies” for using value-based prescribing to lower costs without diminishing effective treatment. Of those, the approach could be applied to 34 drugs and yield 89 percent in overall savings.

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  • Refresher math — “…patients could take one pill each day instead of three and cut costs by one-third.” Actually, cutting two out of three (2/3) pills means that patients would be cutting costs by two-thirds (or, phrased somewhat more awkwardly, cutting costs *to* one third).

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