The Phaserl


Are Some Cancer Doctors Immorally Pocketing Money from Patients?

by Mike Barrett, Natural Society:

More than a handful of doctor have been caught in the act of needlessly giving out or overcharging for cancer drugs to make a quick buck. It seems that some doctors are either intentionally or wrongfully diagnosing sickness, or are immorally pocketing cash from treatment costs.

As the New York Times has pointed out:

“Among cancer doctors, it is called the chemotherapy concession. At a time when overall spending on prescription drugs is soaring, cancer specialists are pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars each year by selling drugs to patients — a practice that almost no other doctors follow.”

Unlike other healthcare professionals, oncologists (cancer doctors) purchase chemotherapy drugs themselves, which are often discounted by drug makers. This can lead to doctors administering drugs at an inflated cost to the patient, since the doctor receives the drugs at a discount. It’s called chemotherapy concession, where “financial incentives exist for some US oncologists in the prescribing of chemotherapy and growth factors for treatment-related anemia.” And many want an end to it.

In fact, the General Accounting Office discovered that doctors, on average, were able to get discounts as high as 86% on some drugs. Critics noted that this kind of activity is contributing to the nation’s high health care bills.

Let’s remember: healthcare should not be treated like a business deal, especially when it’s harming citizens.

”We think it’s a bad system that creates bad incentives that creates bad medicine,” said Robert M. Hayes, president of the Medicare Rights Center, a consumer group, who testified before Congress in 2002 on the issue.

As reported by the New York Times:

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