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Helping Cancer Patients Who Can’t Afford Their Drugs

It’s no secret that the cost of fighting cancer is devastating; patients in need of cancer-combatting drugs often incur thousands of dollars worth of debt in order to stay alive. This fact is tragic – a person should never have to choose between their health and their financial future.

The good news is that the state of Pennsylvania recently became the 41st state in the nation to pass legislation that would make cancer drugs more affordable for patients, as reported by an article in

How the State Will Make Cancer Drugs More Affordable


The article explains that there is currently a large disparity between the cost of in-office intravenous chemotherapy medications and out-of-office oral medications, with the former being significantly cheaper than the latter, more convenient option. The legislation, which Governor Wolf has committed to signing into law, would equalize these costs.

This is how the system currently works: intravenous drugs are given in a doctor’s office or hospital setting, and as such, these costs are (usually) covered by insurance companies. Typically, a patient is charged less than $50 for these drugs.

On the other hand, the cost of pills – which patients can take on their own at home – require a patient to contribute about 25 percent of the total cost. What’s more, the co-pay on these drugs alone can cost patients up to around $3,500 per month. The newer the cancer drug, the more expensive it is.

The Problem With Highly Priced Drugs

While the legislation will prohibit insurance providers from disparately charging for the two types of coverage, the real problem lies at the excessive and astronomical cost of new cancer drugs. Daniel Bunis, who works for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, told reporters that the new legislation “impacts patients today,” and that, “Patients are dying because they can’t afford their treatments.” In the future, cheaper medications becoming accessible is hopeful.

Of course, drugs to treat cancer patients are not the only prescription medications that are priced at an absurd rate – a rate which often bars patients from using drugs, or using drugs in the recommended amount, increasing their risk of an adverse outcome.

Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving You

At the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., our experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys are dismayed with the current system and the costs that patients are facing in order to get treatment or the medications that they need. While we are pleased with the new legislation, we hope the day comes where the amount of money one has has no impact on their likelihood of survival when diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.

If you believe that improper medical care or defective pharmaceuticals have caused you harm, our legal team would be pleased to meet with you. We will provide you with a free case review in order to determine whether or not you have a claim and your chances of recovering damages. Contact us today to learn more.


Contact us for your consultation (215) 567-3500