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Colorectal cancer treatment costs vary widely

HealthDay/Washington Post, November 21, 2008

The cost of treating colorectal cancer can vary by tens of thousands of dollars per patient, say researchers with Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center. Researchers compared the eight most commonly prescribed therapeutic regimens used to treat more than 400 patients at 115 ambulatory care centers across the United States. "The total cost of chemotherapy to treat colorectal cancer may differ by as much as $36,999 per patient, depending on the regimen," said the study's senior investigator, Gary Lyman, MD. The study findings suggest new strategies may be necessary to limit the economic impact of newer colorectal cancer therapies, such as easing restrictions on the federal government's ability to negotiate drug prices and asking drug makers to reassess their pricing policies, he added.