A new study provides further evidence that hospitals—not manufacturers—often determine what patients and insurers pay for lifesaving cancer treatments.
For patients with private insurance, hospitals significantly mark up the price of 25 common cancer drugs, finds a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. The median markup ranged from 118.4% to 633.6%, with prices varying significantly for the same products for different payors in the same hospital.
“The prices that private insurers agree to pay hospitals for cancer drugs are often at least double what the hospital paid to acquire the drugs,” explains Axios.
The study found that “hospitals may earn greater revenue per unit from cancer therapies than the pharmaceutical companies that manufactured them,” says Axios’ Caitlin Owens. “The blame for high drug prices goes well beyond drug manufacturers, and is ultimately borne by patients through higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs.”
As Good Day BIO reported earlier this year, more than half of total spending on brand-name medicines in 2020 went to “non-manufacturer stakeholders—including PBMs, health plans, hospitals, the government, pharmacies, and others.” And drug prices continue to fall.
“The findings of this study suggest that, to reduce the financial burden of cancer treatment for patients, institution of public policies to discourage or prevent excessive hospital price markups on parenteral chemotherapeutics may be beneficial,” conclude the study authors.
More Reading: Brand Name Drug Prices Fell in 2021—Again.