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Prices soar as NC nonprofit hospitals dominate cancer market

The Charlotte Observer, September 24, 2012

Large nonprofit hospitals in North Carolina are dramatically inflating prices on chemotherapy drugs at a time when they are cornering more of the market on cancer care, an investigation by the Observer and The News & Observer of Raleigh has found. The newspapers found hospitals are routinely marking up prices on cancer drugs by two to 10 times over cost. Some markups are far higher. It's happening as hospitals increasingly buy the practices of independent oncologists, then charge more for the same chemotherapy in the same office. Asked about the findings, hospital officials said they are relying on a longtime practice of charging more for some services to make up for losses in others.