HealthLeaders Media Staff, April 15, 2009
As pills and capsules improve life for some cancer patients, they are sapping the finances of many cancer doctors. For drugs they administer in their offices, oncologists can make money: They buy those drugs wholesale and then get reimbursed by patients and insurers when they use the drugs. They also are paid for administering the infusion. But with oral drugs, the doctors just write a prescription the patient fills through a pharmacy. The doctors make no money from the drug, and they have no infusion to bill for. Some doctors say the pills are actually raising their operating expenses.