Scott A. Soefje, PharmD, MBA, BCOP
Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers that is on the rise, and this means that the overall cost of treating this disease is also climbing. In addition to that, the limitations of current therapies in this space have prompted the development of new agents that typically come with higher price tags. The result is a gathering storm of higher incidence and higher cost. Invevitably, these factors will prompt difficult cost-based choices of therapies; however, the changing scenario in pancreatic cancer is leading to calls for earlier screening that may head off some of the expense of treating this difficult tumor type.
The most recent analysis of direct medical costs related to the total care of pancreatic cancer is based on 5262 patients with the disease in a managed care population matched to 15,786 controls between 2001 and 2010. Mean total all-cause health-care costs per-member, per-month (PMPM), including those for office visits, inpatient visits, emergency department visits, and inpatient stays, were ,480 versus 01 for the control group (all P
<.001), with inpatient stays being the highest cost driver (17 PMPM). In addition, costs were significantly higher during treatment for metastatic and advanced cancer compared with the initial treatment phase of nonmetastatic disease (,637 vs ,358, respectively; P
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