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High-Cost Cancer Drugs, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 200

Essay

Based on the situation described in the article, my position is: the status quo is probably the best way to balance concerns over access and the costs behind such cancer treatments.   In coming to this conclusion, I essentially eliminated the other possibilities as untenable over the long-term due to increased pressure over excessive costs in the system.  That is, one possibility is for the government to cover the cost of drugs for those who can’t afford it- something akin to social insurance for chronic diseases.  It is unclear, however, how this “guarantee” would work in the current hybrid health insurance system that is composed of public and private providers.  Even if the government could receive discounts on drugs based on volume (a position reluctant to adopt in the past), the drugs cost structure versus benefits given would be politically unsustainable in the current environment of austerity (Epstein, August, 30, 2011).  Indeed, the government would likely require a price ceiling on drugs for patients that could potentially stifle further drug innovation.  Thus, although the current system does provision drugs to some and not all, it is probably a better fate than to not have those drugs available for consumers at all.

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