Financial Toxicity in American Patients Receiving Cancer Immunotherapy Drugs

Researched by Belong.Life and published by ASCO, 2020
Authors: Daniel A. Vorobiof, Lior Hasid, Alon Litvin, Irad Deutsch, Eliran Malki

Background: Real-word data obtained through cutting edge technology paired with consumer mobile devices on 310 worldwide pts, members of Belong.life, an international mobile application, who received immunotherapy for diverse solid tumors, was obtained following a short, targeted survey related to the potential development of FT as a result of the reported diagnosis and IOT.Methods:310 worldwide pts anonymously and voluntarily replied to a 14 questions survey describing their demographics and FT related points including reported causes, health insurances coverages and personal financial coping strategies. In this abstract we present the data on 205 American pts.

Results: All 205 pts were US based. 29 pts (14 %) were <50 years of age (yoa), 68 pts (33%) were 51-60 yoa and 108 (53%) were >61 yoa. Pts’s stages were 3 in 39(19%) and 4 in 141 (69%). There were 72 males and 133 females. The most common cancer diagnosis was lung in 96 pts (47%), malignant melanoma in 37(18%), kidney in 29(14%), colorectal in 14(7%) and bladder in 12(6%). The frequent administered immunotherapy drugs were pembrolizumab in 44%, nivolumab in 39%, ipilimumab in 18 % and durvalumab in 13%. Of the 172/205 pts that replied in full to the FT survey, 82/172 (48%) reported FT during their treatment journey. Of them 24/82 (29.3%) received pretreatment FT information from their medical team while 58/82 pts (70.7%) mentioned that they did not receive FT information. Common reported FTs were high medical copayments in 50 % of the repliers, loss of income in 47% and high drugs and treatment copayments in 38 %. 41 % of the pts were insured by Medicare and 23 % by Medicaid and other HMOs. When asked about coping strategies, 62 % used personal savings, 35% received financial support from family and friends and 32 % trimmed their household expenses.

Conclusions: 205 American pts members of the Belong.life application reported on their FTs experiences while receiving cancer immunotherapy. 172/205 replied to the complete survey. FT was most prevalent in the older group (>61 yoa) due to high medical and treatment copayments. Nearly half of the pts were not aware of the possible development of FT before treatment and only 29.3% received pre-treatment advisory information from their doctors. Reduced FT incidence (from 70.7% to 29.3%) was reported by those pts who received financial advice prior to initiation of treatment. Physicians should become aware of their pts’ possible risks for FTs and follow it up with relevant advice prior to immunotherapy initiation.

For more info: Financial toxicity (FT) real-world data evidence (RWDE) in American patients (pts) receiving cancer immunotherapy drugs (IOT).

Belong.Life is a leading global tech provider of high-engagement patient communities and care platforms, supporting millions of patients worldwide.

Among Belong.Life’s brands are the world’s largest social and professional networks for cancer patients (Belong – Beating Cancer Together) and multiple sclerosis patients (BelongMS), as well as i-Belong, BelongIBD, BelongPSOCoronApp (select countries), and more.

Belong.Life’s mission is to improve quality of life and quality of care worldwide through technology, engagement, data, and AI.

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