A recent article in ForbesĀ reports that although we are witnessing a time of historic breakthroughs in cancer treatments, we are lagging behind on policy breakthroughs in the development, funding and delivery of excellent cancer care.

One of the catalysts for the debate is the issue of the cost of expensive cancer drugs, which many believe are reaching levels that are not sustainable.

The author, John Lechleiter, disputes this contention, indicating that the cost of cancer treatment has not altered significantly in over 50 years.

Viewing the cost of life-saving drugs without examining the reduction in overall treatment costs is short-sighted. The author cites several studies that indicate that quality measures often lead to more prescriptions for the high-cost drugs, but with a reduction in the overall costs of care for the patients.

Controversy exists as to the proper formula for scoring the value of cancer medicines as well. Further study is necessary, and it is critical for patients to be kept as the focus for final decision making.

The development of new treatments is critical to cancer patients for whom existing methods have failed. The ability to bring these treatments safely into the hands of patients depends on the concentrated effort of medical professionals, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, regulatory agencies and patient advocates.

LRG Advocacy Efforts

The LRG supports advocacy efforts that will aid GIST patients and those with other rare diseases to obtain life-saving medications in a timely and affordable manner. The Life Raft Group is involved in the advocacy of patients, caregivers and their families. We were founded on the principle that people working together can make a difference in the lives of those with GIST, and very possibly, all those fighting cancer.

Erin Kristoff, LRG Director of Marketing and Communications, will be in Washington, DC with other advocates for Rare Disease Day to represent our support for vital initiatives that will impact current and future cancer patients.

Mary Garland
Author: Mary Garland