Patients and members of the general public are generally more willing to pay for healthcare services and interventions that they consider to be of higher or greater value. The more highly valued the healthcare intervention, the more willing people will be to pay for it(Smith & Cunningham2004). However, the high cost of treatment remains a major challenge for patients worldwide. Diagnosisof diseases like cancer, for instance, can bring with it substantial financial worries for many patients, with nearly 75 percent of cancer patients reported experiencing subjective economic distress(Yezefski et al. 2017). 

In the Seminars in Hematologypublication, Todd Yezefski and colleagues observe that High out-of-pocket spending on cancer drugs, like for most other chronic diseases, is known to contribute to financial problems among patients, with these costs seemingly only increasing. This apparently underscores the glaring importance of enhancing access to medicines by making them more available and affordable, though this goal remains a major global public health challenge.

One of the best ways to address this problem is to coordinate between patients, payers and pharmaceutical manufacturers and design tailored “Shared Contribution Models” that address particular barriers to treatment financial affordability. This should involve manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies to warrant a seamless and timely patients’ access to their treatment in accordance with various local and global regulations guiding the practice.

References

Smith, A.S.A., and Cunningham, S.J., 2004. Which factors influence willingness-to-pay for orthognathic treatment?. The European Journal of Orthodontics26(5), pp.499-506.

Yezefski, T., Schwemm, A., Lentz, M., Hone, K. and Shankaran, V., 2017, September. Patient Assistance Programs—A valuable, yet imperfect, way to ease the financial toxicity of cancer care. In Seminars in Hematology. WB Saunders.