This blog is a companion piece to an article recently published in our January issue of OBR Green titled “Consumerism in Oncology: How Will it Affect Cancer Care?.” Enjoy the blog and then dig a little deeper by reading the full length OBR Green article here.
In healthcare, consumerism is accompanied by an increase in the level of patient engagement in treatment decision making. The primary driver of consumerism in healthcare has been cost shifting to patients.
A diagnosis of cancer can be overwhelming, as it represents a complex array of diseases, often with few treatment options, causing people to consider their mortality. Historically, patients with cancer have deferred in large part to their physicians regarding treatment decisions. However, there are signals that economic pressures including increased cost sharing can lead to failure to present, treatment abandonment, or selection of a lower-cost treatment alternative—even in cancer.
Evidence suggests that patients with cancer make their own determinations of product value and may choose to reject or abandon treatment associated with high out-of-pocket (OOP) costs. Kantar Health analyses have consistently demonstrated that high OOP costs for cancer treatment, particularly those associated with oral oncolytics, increase the likelihood of treatment abandonment at specific and predictable thresholds.
Kantar Health’s Oncology Market Access US Consumerism module explores the factors contributing to health care consumerism and how two unique patient populations—a primarily elderly, male population with metastatic prostate cancer and a generally younger, female population with metastatic breast cancer—assign value to product attributes. Interestingly, the study found that 58% of women with metastatic breast cancer were willing to accept a drug cost share of $3,000 versus 47% of men with metastatic prostate cancer, despite the fact that these men had a higher average annual income.
Consumerism in cancer is nascent, leaving opportunity for key stakeholders to learn how best to position drugs and services to ensure that decisions to treat remain focused on clinical versus economic considerations. As cost shifting continues, patients will increasingly perform personal value assessments, weighing costs against outcomes in their choice to accept treatment, seek treatment alternatives, or forgo treatment altogether. When costs require trade-offs, patients need ready access to clear, complete, and compelling information. Consumerism explores the relative importance of efficacy, safety, quality of life, and cost on patient behavior and provides insight into how to stay ahead of this trend.
To discover the ways to prepare for the emergence of consumerism in cancer click here to request a copy of our abstract: Consumerism and the Importance of Patient-Directed Value Propositions in Cancer.