Brachytherapy offers an effective and relatively cheap method of treating internal cancers, and its popularity in the future will likely rely on its financial status, according to a new report by healthcare experts, GlobalData.
The new report* suggests that the growing cost of cancer treatment has intensified focus on the cost-effectiveness of treatment approaches, and brachytherapy is shining through as the best option.
Assessment of the costs and benefits of new and existing cancer treatment methods are essential for clinicians, payors and healthcare policy makers around the world. The number of new diagnosed cancer cases increases globally every year, and the disease is set to become a global pandemic with death rates growing in low and middle-income countries. This is mainly due to growing elderly populations in both developed and developing countries, but smoking, diet and sedentary lifestyles also contribute. As a result of this huge patient population, doctors and patients are desperate for effective, economical and convenient radiation treatments.
Lifetime treatment costs for brachytherapy have been found to be nearly $3,000 lower than costs for radical prostatectomy in the treatment of low-risk prostate cancer, making it a high-value alternative. Data from US patients newly diagnosed with prostate cancer over five and half years revealed that brachytherapy was among the most cost-effective options, totaling a comparatively low $35,143.
The need for fewer treatments best serves patients who do not have local access to radiation treatment, cutting out lengthy journeys to an oncology center, and representing significant cost savings for patients, as transportation costs constitute out-of-pocket expenses. Brachytherapy also saves money for healthcare systems, as lifetime treatment through brachytherapy costs substantially less than radical prostatectomy and Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). Moreover, temporary brachytherapy is gaining popularity among both physicians and patients due to its ease of use as an outpatient procedure.
Treatment is also shorter, and has a lower risk of serious adverse effects, making it altogether more likely for patients to conform to treatment schedules and refrain from wasting appointment times.
However, Medicare reimbursement cuts threaten the growth of the brachytherapy devices market in the US, potentially removing brachytherapy from a huge portion of the global cancer patient population. The 2012 final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) saw Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalize proposals reducing Medicare payment rates for physicians by 27.4 % for services in 2012. Earlier in 2010, the CMS under the MPFS-proposed rule implemented reimbursement cuts of 19% for radiation oncology. Based on these changes, it is estimated that radiation oncology, including brachytherapy, will experience an impact of negative 6% in 2012 and negative 10% in 2013.
NOTES TO EDITORS
*Brachytherapy Devices - Global Opportunity Assessment, Competitive Landscape and Market Forecasts to 2018
This report provides key data, information and analysis on the global brachytherapy devices market. The report provides market landscape, competitive landscape and market trends information on the market, as well as comprehensive information on the key trends affecting the market, and key analytical content on the market dynamics. It also reviews the competitive landscape and technology offerings.
This report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GlobalData’s team of industry experts.
GlobalData is a leading global business intelligence provider offering advanced analytics to help clients make better, more informed decisions every day. Our research and analysis is based on the expert knowledge of over 700 qualified business analysts and 25,000 interviews conducted with industry insiders every year, enabling us to offer the most relevant,reliable and actionable strategic business intelligence available for a wide range of industries
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