Dr. Yezefski Compares Costs and Outcomes of Chemotherapy in the US and Canada

Todd A. Yezefski, MD
Published: Monday, Jul 16, 2018



Todd A. Yezefski, MD, senior fellow, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, compares the costs and outcomes of chemotherapy in the United States and Canada for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). His findings were presented at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting.

Yezefski and co-investigators wanted to analyze the pros and cons of the US multi-payer health system versus Canada’s single-payer system. Using two geographically similar regions, western Washington state and British Columbia, results showed that the utilization and cost of systemic therapy for patients with mCRC in the United States was significantly higher.

The mean monthly cost for first-line treatment in Washington was $12,345 versus $6,195 for Canadian patients (P < .01). A greater proportion of US patients received systemic therapy than Canadian patients at 79% versus 68%, respectively. The most common first-line regimen in Washington was FOLFOX and in British Columbia it was FOLFIRI plus bevacizumab (Avastin).

For comparison, Canadian costs were expressed in the US dollar using the Purchase Power Parity for Health.  


Todd A. Yezefski, MD, senior fellow, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, compares the costs and outcomes of chemotherapy in the United States and Canada for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). His findings were presented at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting.

Yezefski and co-investigators wanted to analyze the pros and cons of the US multi-payer health system versus Canada’s single-payer system. Using two geographically similar regions, western Washington state and British Columbia, results showed that the utilization and cost of systemic therapy for patients with mCRC in the United States was significantly higher.

The mean monthly cost for first-line treatment in Washington was $12,345 versus $6,195 for Canadian patients (P < .01). A greater proportion of US patients received systemic therapy than Canadian patients at 79% versus 68%, respectively. The most common first-line regimen in Washington was FOLFOX and in British Columbia it was FOLFIRI plus bevacizumab (Avastin).

For comparison, Canadian costs were expressed in the US dollar using the Purchase Power Parity for Health.  

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