Brandon S. Sheffield, MD, discusses the economic cost of delaying treatment while conducting biomarker testing in non–small cell lung cancer.
Brandon S. Sheffield, MD, anatomic and molecular pathologist, physician lead of Research, William Osler Health System, discusses the economic cost of delaying treatment while conducting biomarker testing in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
A team of oncologists, pathologists, and health economists in Canada examined different methods of biomarker testing to evaluate how long it takes to receive results and the economic cost of caring for patients with NSCLC while waiting to see what treatment they should be administered, Sheffield explains. Investigators assessed how much money the Canadian health-care system spent to support patients as they waited for treatment, and the approximate cost was $406 per week, Sheffield says.
The cost of care prior to the start of therapy should factor testing decisions, since a cheaper test that takes longer to run could be more expensive overall for health-care system, factoring in the cost of supportive care for patients in the interim, Sheffield stresses.
The material and labor costs of biomarker testing are likely not the most expensive aspect of the process, Sheffield continues. The time delay between testing and results could cost more, and longer testing times are not beneficial for patients, Sheffield concludes.