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Communication about high-cost drugs in oncology--the patient view


, : Communication about high-cost drugs in oncology--the patient view. Annals of Oncology 21(9): 1910-1914

Many anticancer drugs are only available to Australian patients at a significant cost in the time preceding approval for government subsidy. Studies indicate that many oncologists find it difficult to discuss high-cost drugs (HCDs) with patients whom they believe are unable to afford treatment, thereby limiting treatment choices. We sought to identify the information needs and communication preferences of women with breast cancer regarding HCDs. An e-mail invitation was sent to 317 members of Breast Cancer Network Australia. Forty-seven subjects participated in telephone interviews on the basis of a structured questionnaire regarding personal experience with HCD discussions and information preferences. Participants considered an out-of-pocket cost of $50/week to be a HCD. Only 28% had previously discussed HCD treatment with their oncologist; however, 96% of participants wanted to discuss an expensive drug as an option, even if they were unlikely able to afford it. Women with breast cancer have a strong desire to be active participants in their cancer treatment and wish to be fully informed of potential treatment options, including HCDs. Nondisclosure of information, including HCDs, can result in patient dissatisfaction.

US$19.90

PMID: 20332139

DOI: 10.1093/annonc/mdq068


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