When cancer treatment costs rise, patient adherence goes down. In the most recent study documenting this unfortunate aspect of oncology care, researchers from the University of Rhode Island reviewed medication adherence in nearly 40,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients who had been prescribed oral anti-cancer medications.
The connection clearly showed that as out-of-pocket costs for patients go up, adherence goes down. In fact, nearly half of patients overall fell into the nonadherent category. However, significant differences were seen depending on the type of cancer, with brain cancer patients more likely to be adherent and liver cancer patients far less likely. Regardless of type of cancer, there was a notable association with higher costs appearing to be the reason for rising nonadherence rates.
This study pulled data from Optum’s De-identified Clinformatics Data Mart commercial claims database for 2010-2018 and followed patients for six months after each new pharmacy claim for an oral anti-cancer medication prescription.
As the lead researcher, Dr. Ami Vyas, concluded: “… policies addressing costs and access to oral anticancer medications should be put in place to ensure optimal use of these medications.”
Key Solution to Affordability Issue
Improved access to generic oncology medications offers a significant solution to this medication affordability hurdle that otherwise leads to patient nonadherence.
Here at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy we have expanded our ‘Hope Delivered in 24 Hours’ program to streamline access to oncology generics. The program ensures that all formulary generic oncology medications are ready to ship to patients within 24 hours of receiving a complete physician referral. We’re proud to be the only specialty pharmacy to have generic oncology medications ready to ship to patients in just one day.
This program launched earlier in 2022 with single-day processing for the medication capecitabine. Now, it’s expanded to guarantee a quick turnaround for all of the most commonly prescribed generic oncology medications. This includes abiraterone, bexarotene, capecitabine, deferasirox, erlotinib, everolimus, imatinib, nilutamide, sunitinib, temozolomide, and other oncology generics.
BioPlus was the first specialty pharmacy to shorten the excessive wait times oncology patients often experience between diagnosis and starting therapy and this correlates to better outcomes for patients. Physicians’ offices can ‘Deliver Hope in 24 Hours’ by accessing referral forms here.