Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cancer patients prefer risky treatments with larger rewards to 'safe bets'

10.04.2012
Special issue of Health Affairs focuses on costs, benefits and hope inspired by cancer care in the 21st century

A new analysis provides a closer look at how much cancer patients value hope — with important implications for how insurers value treatment, particularly in end-of-life care.

The analysis led by Darius Lakdawalla, director of research at the Schaeffer Center at USC and associate professor in the USC Price School of Public Policy, surveyed 150 cancer patients currently undergoing treatment, and is part of a special issue on cancer spending from the journal Health Affairs.

Lakdawalla and his co-authors found the overwhelming majority of cancer patients prefer riskier treatments that offer the possibility of longer survival over safer treatments: 77 percent of cancer patients said they would rather take a "hopeful gamble" — treatments that offer a 50/50 chance of either adding three years or no additional survival — to "safe bet" treatments that would keep them alive for 18 months, but no longer.

"Consumers tend to dislike risk, and researchers and policy makers have generally assumed that patients care about the average gain in survival," Lakdawalla said. "But patients facing a fatal disease with relatively short remaining life expectancy may have less to lose and be more willing to swing for the fences. This analysis points to the larger ideal — that value should be defined from the viewpoint of the patient."

John A. Romley, an economist with the Schaeffer Center at USC; Yuri Sanchez of health care consulting firm Precision Health Economics; Ross MacLean and John Penrod of Bristol-Myers Squibb; and Tomas Philipson of the University of Chicago and Senior Fellow at the Schaeffer Center at USC, were co-authors on the study.

The study is one of several in the special issue of the journal Health Affairs, sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Schaeffer Center at USC, that look at cancer spending and assess the value of treatments which can cost thousands of dollars yet might offer patients with a terminal illness the hope of staying alive longer. Taken together, the articles provide additional considerations for policymakers, patients, providers and others as to when a high-cost treatment is 'worth' the price.

Other papers from the Schaeffer Center at USC in the issue of Health Affairs:

Tomas Philipson, Senior Fellow at the Schaeffer Center at USC and Daniel Levin Chair in Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and his coauthors, looked at the higher cost system of cancer treatment in the United States and compared it to care in ten European countries from 1983-1999.

The United States spends more on cancer care than European countries, but the analysis suggests that this investment also generates a greater 'value' for US patients who typically live nearly two years longer than their European counterparts.

For most cancer types, U.S. cancer patients lived longer than their European counterparts, according to the results in the Health Affairs paper. Cancer patients diagnosed from 1995 to 1999 lived 11.1 years after diagnosis in the United States, on average, compared to 9.3 years after diagnosis in Europe.

This analysis suggests that the higher-cost U.S. system of cancer care delivery may be worth it, say the authors, although further research is required to determine what specific tools or treatments are driving improved cancer survival in the United States.

Michael Eber of Precision Health Economics, Lakdawalla of the Schaeffer Center at USC, Mitra Corral of Bristol Myers-Squibb, Rena Conti of the University of Chicago, and Dana Goldman, director of the Schaeffer Center at USC and Norman Topping Chair in Medicine and Public Policy at USC, were co-authors of the study.

Healthy people are willing to pay more for generous coverage of high-cost drugs that treat cancer and other serious diseases, according to research led John A. Romley, an economist with the Schaeffer Center at USC and research assistant professor at the USC Price School of Public Policy.

On average, healthy people were willing to pay an extra $12.94 per month for better coverage of high-cost drugs. The cost of covering specialty drugs is about $5 per month—meaning respondents were willing to pay $2.58 in health care premiums for every dollar in out-of-pocket costs on a less generous insurance plan.

"If sick patients faced with the full cost of care decline to undergo treatment, one might conclude that these treatments are not "worth it"," Romley said. "But our study shows that healthy individuals apparently dislike the financial risk associated with future treatment enough to finance the average cost of coverage across all beneficiaries – indeed, they're willing to pay more than the actual cost for coverage, suggesting that the value they place on it exceeds what it costs to provide."

Sanchez of Precision Health Economics, Penrod of Bristol Myers-Squibb and Goldman of the Schaeffer Center at USC, were co-authors of the study.

The April issue of Health Affairs is supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb, the Schaeffer Center at USC and Precision Health Economics.

A full table of contents is available here: http://www.healthaffairs.org/Media/toc/2012_04_toc.pdf

To request a copy of a paper or to arrange an interview with the researcher, contact Suzanne Wu at suzanne.wu@usc.edu

Suzanne Wu | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu
http://www.healthaffairs.org/Media/toc/2012_04_toc.pdf

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht TSRI researchers develop new method to 'fingerprint' HIV
29.03.2017 | Scripps Research Institute

nachricht Periodic ventilation keeps more pollen out than tilted-open windows
29.03.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>