Expert on prostate cancer drug cost savings with the Inflation Reduction Act

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"Hopefully this law will allow more patients with advanced prostate cancer to gain access to these medications, and to take it without substantially changing the quality of their life when it comes to financial consequences," says Benjamin Pockros, MD.

In this video, Benjamin Pockros, MD, highlights take-home messages from the publication, “Impact of the Inflation Reduction Act for patients with advanced prostate cancer,” for which he served as the lead author. Pockros is a urology resident at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Video Transcript:

What were the key take-home messages from this work?

Our work focuses on prostate cancer in this country. In recent years, there's been a development of oral targeted therapies, which has been great. Folks don't have to go to infusion centers. Research has shown excellent survival benefits with it. But these drugs are really expensive. The brands costs $100,000. The out-of-pocket costs for patients with Medicare are $10,000, $11,000, $12,000. More than 75,000 patients in this country have been prescribed these types of drugs. So, it's a large amount of people who have these financial burdens. That's why this law is really going to make a really big impact for patients with advanced prostate cancer, and it's really beneficial.

I think the biggest takeaway of our research is that this law is really going to improve access to a lot of these medications for patients. You can imagine if the out-of-pocket costs are $10,000, that's really prohibitive for most folks, leading to financial toxicity, leading to a decrease in adherence, leading to them just not taking the medication at all. Hopefully this law will allow more patients with advanced prostate cancer to gain access to these medications, and to take it without substantially changing the quality of their life when it comes to financial consequences.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

As we talk about expensive drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries, I do want to give a shout out that currently this is open enrollment season for Part D plans. If you know patients on Medicare with Part D plans now would be a really good time to go the online Plan Finder and help reduce their out-of-pocket costs.

This transcription has been edited for clarity.

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