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Valuing end-of-life care in the United States: the case of new cancer drugs

Sorenson, Corinna (2012) Valuing end-of-life care in the United States: the case of new cancer drugs. Health Economics, Policy and Law, 7 (04). pp. 411-430. ISSN 1744-1331

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New cancer therapies offer the hope of improved diagnosis to patients with life-threatening disease. Over the past 5-10 years, a number of specialty drugs have entered clinical practice to provide better systemic therapy for advanced cancers that respond to few therapeutic alternatives. To date, however, such advances have been only modestly effective in extending life and come with a high price tag, raising questions about their value for money, patient access and implications for health care costs. This article explores some of the key issues present in valuing end-of-life care in the United States in the case of advanced cancer drugs, from the difficult trade-offs between their limited health benefits and high costs to the technical, political and social challenges in assessing their value and applying such evidence to inform policy and practice. A number of initial steps are discussed that could be pursued to improve the value of advanced cancer care.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Cambridge University Press
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I12 - Health Production: Nutrition, Mortality, Morbidity, Suicide, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Disability, and Economic Behavior
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > LSE Health
Collections > United States Collection
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2012 13:47

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