The Sustainability of Rising Drug Prices in Oncology

Ryan Bookout, PharmD

Ryan Bookout, PharmD, president, Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association, clinical pharmacist, Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses the questionable sustainability of the field of oncology as drug prices continue to rise.

Data show that as the world's population continues to grow, the number of patients diagnosed with cancer is increasing exponentially, Bookout says. For this reason alone, the field of oncology is crucial, but it is clear that the payment model currently being used in the United States is not working.
Drug prices are rising at a more rapid pace than the number of patients diagnosed with cancer, and the country cannot pay for it in the long haul, Bookout notes. The United States currently has a mixed model of private and public insurance with Medicare and Medicaid, but there is a disconnect between the 2 entities regarding how to best work together to control cost.Therefore, researchers are working to identify a better model that will be most effective in this space. Bookout concludes that the health care community will eventually identify a system that works, but it is going to take time.
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