Canadian hospitals are spending half as much money as US facilities to treat colorectal cancer patients for almost the same efficiency, according to a US study.
To reach this conclusion, Dr. Todd Yezefski of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center examined the cost per patient and the effectiveness of British Columbia and Washington State hospitals to treat colorectal cancer .
The researcher found that US hospitals spend, on average, $ 12,345 a month to treat these patients, compared to $ 6,195 in British Columbia, according to a summary of the study published in the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which was held this weekend in Chicago.
Yet, despite a cost nearly double that in Canada, American patients survived, on average, 21.4 months after starting treatment, compared to 22.1 months for Canadians.
The 1622 Canadian patients considered for the study were slightly older (mean 66 years) than the 575 US patients (mean 60 years). However, this was the only difference between the two groups, which were otherwise ethnically similar in terms of education and income.
American doctors have also prescribed a little more chemotherapy treatment than their Canadian counterparts, but this difference could be explained by the difference in average age between the two groups.
“What we can learn from this is that the government sets prices for chemotherapy and drugs used in treatment in British Columbia. In the United States, the price is really determined by the market and pharmaceutical companies, “said Dr. Yezefski, according to comments relayed by CNN.
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