Skip to Navigation Skip to Search Skip to Content
Search All Centers

Cost vs. Value When Considering Treatment for Melanoma

Read Transcript Download/Print Transcript

Published on July 31, 2015

Coming hot on the heels of ASCO's (American Society of Clinical Oncology) annual meeting, Carol Preston, Patient Empowerment Network correspondent, speaks briefly with melanoma expert, Dr. Sapna Patel, assistant professor in the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The subject of targeted therapies and immuno-therapies is exciting but brings with it the question of cost versus value, particularly from the patient perspective. Dr. Patel explains how she, as a physician, must weigh the cost of treatment against the cost-effectiveness of the therapy, measuring years of survival against cost of financial burden.

You might also like

Transcript | Cost vs. Value When Considering Treatment for Melanoma

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That's how you’ll get care that's most appropriate for you.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Carol Preston:

We talk about targeted therapies, immunotherapies.  I'm also wondering about patient access to these therapies.  I know it's been a hot topic at ASCO about the cost versus value.  What is your perspective on that?  

Dr. Patel:

So in the field of melanoma, we're just starting to broach these topics.  For years, we had therapies that could keep people alive for just a few months, and so, you know, the cost was not so much taken into play there.  Now we have therapies where the duration of treatment may be several years, and the potential benefit is even more years down the road.  

And so the question becomes what is the cost of that treatment, and what is the cost effectiveness of that therapy? If you give somebody an expensive treatment and then they no longer need a second- or third=line therapy, you may have done some up=front good at the cost of financial burden.  However, if you use a different medicine up front, but they do need a second? and third?line therapy it becomes challenging to know where—where the benefit is in terms of value.  So in melanoma now that we finally have some effective agents that are moving the needle, these questions are becoming very salient. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.