iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

The high cost of health care is about the prices

The price of cancer drugs in the US is vastly higher than in other nations, according to new research that shines a light on how the cost of treating the life-threatening disease differs considerably depending on where the patient lives.

In the US, the median monthly price of branded cancer drugs, which are still protected by patents, was almost $8,700, compared with about $2,600 in the UK, $2,700 in Australia and $3,200 in China, according to the study, one of the largest of its kind.

June 11, 2016 | Categories: Cost,drugs,healthcare | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)

The escalating cost of new cancer drugs

More than 100 of the country’s most prominent cancer doctors are calling for a mass mobilization of patients to fight the escalating cost of new cancer drugs, which are routinely topping $100,000 a year.  It is the latest move in a flurry of physician advocacy over the price of these therapies, which has included high-profile efforts to ensure costs are factored into decisions about how to treat patients. Employer groups and insurers, stung by the huge bills, have also joined the fight, as have some consumer advocates.

BEA: Breakdown of Healthcare Spending By Disease Type

The Bureau of Economic Analysis analyzed healthcare spending by disease from 2000 to 2010. Here’s the percentage of total spending for each disease category:

Disease Type Percentage Spent
Circulatory conditions 13.6%
Prevention, colds, basic care 12.0%
Musculoskeletal 9.9%
Respiratory 8.4%
Endocrine 7.3%
Nervous 7.0%
Cancers 6.7%
Genitourinary 6.4%
Injury 6.4%
Digestive 5.9%
Mental Health 4.6%
Infectious Disease 3.4%
Skin conditions 2.2%
Pregnancy/birth 2.2%
Other 4.1%

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, March 3, 2015

Emerging Trends – Applying Technological Know How

IBM leverages cognitive computing tech to detect skin cancers IBM is collaborating with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in automating the detection of skin cancers through the use of cognitive computing technology. “Accurately distinguishing the earliest cancers from concerning benign lesions can be very challenging even for dermatologists, so having the aid of analytics that can recognize medical images and detect small variations over time could vastly improve patient prognoses,” says Dr. Allan Halpern of Memorial Sloan Kettering. Electronics Weekly (U.K.)

CDC: Smoking Rate Dropped From 20.9% (2005) To 17.8% (2013)

According to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR):

  • The number of cigarette smokers dropped from 45.1 million in 2005 to 42.1 million in 2013.
  • Those who smoke every day decreased from 80.8% in 2005 to 76.9% in 2013.
  • Cigarette smokers who smoke only on some days increased from 19.2% in 2005 to 23.1% in 2013.
  • The average number of cigarettes smoked by daily smokers declined from 16.7 in 2005 to 14.2 in 2013.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Most adjusted death rates continue to fall

From 2011 to 2012, the age-adjusted death rate fell 1.8% for heart disease, 1.5% for cancer, 2.4% for chronic lower respiratory diseases, 2.6% for stroke, 3.6% for Alzheimer’s disease, 1.9% for diabetes, 8.3% for influenza and pneumonia, and 2.2% for kidney disease; but the rate for suicide rose 2.4%; and the rate for unintentional injuries remained the same. Source: “Mortality in the United States, 2012,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NCHS Data Brief #168, October 2014,

Life Expectancy on the Rise; Disease on the Decline

Fewer heart disease, cancer deaths help boost U.S. life expectancy The average life expectancy for an American baby born in 2012 is 78.8 years, according to the CDC, a new high credited partly to fewer deaths from heart disease, cancer and chronic illness. The figure is a one-month increase over the 2011 estimate, and eight of the top 10 causes of mortality decreased, including a 1.8% drop in heart disease-related deaths and a 1.5% decrease in cancer mortality. Bloomberg (10/8)

When making medical decisions — there are always benefits and risks

Aggressive prostate cancer risk may be slightly greater with vasectomyAn analysis of data on about 49,400 men in the U.S. found that a vasectomy was associated with a slightly higher risk of advanced and fatal prostate cancer. The link appeared to be greatest among men who had the procedure at a younger age, researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. More research is needed to assess the findings, outside experts said. HealthDay News (7/10)

Facts about oncology in the United States

This information was published on the web 4/30/14 by the National Business Coalition on Health (

April 2014: OncologyCancer costs were estimated at approximately $264 billion in 2010 – $125 billion for direct medical costs and $139 billion for indirect costs associated with lost productivity. Additionally, cancer is the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 85, accounting for one in every four deaths. The significant financial burden of cancer, compounded with the emotional strain of diagnosis and treatment, can create a complex situation for employers.

Top ranked US cancer centers

Top-Ranked Hospitals for Cancer

  1. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  2. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  3. Mayo Clinic
  4. Johns Hopkins Hospital
  5. Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center
  6. Massachusetts General Hospital
  7. UCSF Medical Center
  8. University of Washington Medical Center
  9. Cleveland Clinic
  10. Stanford Hospital and Clinic

Source: US News

March 3, 2014 | Categories: healthcare,hospitals,quality | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)
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