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View Diary: Cancer Clinics Stop Treating Cancer. Sequester Brings New Meaning to 'Die Quickly!' (40 comments)

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  •  It's not clear that there is any profit here. (9+ / 0-)

    It's not clear whether these are for profit clinics.

    In any case, yes, this is a good case for negotiating bulk drug prices (but the same effect that's happening here would still happen as long as the drug company doesn't take any hit).  But there's always been a good case for negotiating Medicare bulk drug prices, and that's never stopped them from not doing it.

    I suspect what's happening is this.

    If a drug costs $100, the clinic gets a measly $6 to administer it. Cutting that to $4 is pretty meaningless.

    But if the drug costs $10,000, the clinic gets (or used to get)  $600.  Now if it gets $400 instead of $600, multiplied by lots and lots of applications of the drug, and you can see how the clinic is losing all of its overhead funds.

    •  Delivering cancer treatment takes more than drugs (27+ / 0-)

      Most of these new cancer drugs are delivered intravenously. The cancer patient goes to an infusion center, sits in a big chair, and a nurse either sets up an IV or uses a port that has already been set up, and starts the infusion, and monitors for problems for however long it takes (maybe a couple of hours).

      This takes more than the drugs! There's the physical infrastructure - the room, the chair, the lab for mixing the chemicals for infusion. There's personnel - the pharmacist, the nurse, someone to do scheduling and order drugs and so on. There's general maintenance - lights, heating or air conditioning, cleaning services. You need to maintain a safe, sterile environment, at a minimum.

      I have family members who've spent a lot of time as outpatients in not-for-profit infusion centers, and the medical center where I work has one. They are providing essential care to very sick folks, and they are trying to make it as safe and comfortable as possible for as many people as they can, but there is only so far you can stretch the dollars to keep the staff and equipment and building going. So I am grateful for this post!

      •  There'r also measureable benefits in centers of... (5+ / 0-)

        ...expertise and excellence. The more distributed the networks and up to date the better for the patients. e

        That's a driver for corporate investments which creates pos and cons.

        There's been a huge uptick in hedge, private and equity investments in Medicaid delivery, for instance, attributed to the economic downturn, increase in poverty, and ACA's Medicaid expansion. The health care marketplace will change from cheaper costs with privatization and then to less and less cheaper as the dependencies on privatize networks increases.

        It's important to clarify the issues and not confuse humanitarian needs with corporate leverage.

        For another example, every time the Medicare Doc Fix comes up for renewal Medicare docs motivate their patients to call and write their Reps to support the annual delays of the Congressional legislated fee cuts by threatening to stop treatments. The docs (frequently large corporate partnerships), CMS, and Congress go to battle and patients are the hostages.

      •  It's probably also beneficial (6+ / 0-)

        For cancer patients in the midst of chemo to NOT spend time in hospitals full of sick people. That whole "reduced immunity" thing makes hospitals particularly unsafe places.

      •  Of course if our governmental agencies were (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jpmassar, BusyinCA, Sunspots

        About the health and safety of Americans to begin with, and not about Corporate Power, and enabling Corporations to make and sell risky products, I am sure that far fewer people would be cancer-free.

        Instead we have a rigged system, wherein Corporations design the tests and the data collection and then they design the published results that say the products are safe, when they aren't. Plus often  the Big Corporations simply outright lie. For instance, when RoundUp was undergoing the EPA approval system back in the early 1970's, Monsanto simply lied and did not disclose that formaldehyde was one of  the chemicals  used in its formula! Had they revealed that formaldehyde was part of the mix, they would not be able to sell it over the counter in the state of California!

        And every single time I see ads for Febreeze and for Glade and Lysol, with images showing that it can and should be sprayed inside a baby's nursery, i get physically ill knowing what the components of those things are doing  to America's kids and infants! (You will never hear an announcer's voice SAYING you can spray this stuff near children, pets or infants, because that would be illegal. So the images suggest the product is safe in being used that way!)

        Offer your heart some Joy every day of your life, and spread it along to others.

        by Truedelphi on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 02:06:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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