Price of Life: Cancer Treatment Cost

By uds uds | February 19, 2019

Cancer Treatment Cost - Universal Drugstore

What Is the True Cost of Cancer?

We all know someone whose family has been devastated by cancer, since over 15 million Americans fight some type of cancer in their lifetime.

Not only do patients suffer physically, but the costs of cancer affect them and their families financially. In 2014 alone, patients spent over $4 billion of their own savings – after their insurance companies paid out.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, find out what makes cancer treatments so costly and how to properly plan for treatments. Understanding the costs of cancer treatments can help ease the stress of fighting this terrible disease.

 

What Are the Types of Cancer Treatment?

Depending on the type of cancer you’re diagnosed with, you’ll have a range of treatment options. Common treatments for cancer often include surgery, radiation, and pharmacological therapy. Consult with your oncologist to determine the best options for you. Oftentimes, a combination of treatments works best.

 

There Are Three Primary Approaches to Cancer Treatment

Factors Contributing to the Costs of Cancer

Regarding the cost of cancer treatment, there are many variables that can factor into how much you have to pay. Unfortunately, medical care is expensive, but the following information might help you make a more well-informed decision regarding your treatment and insurance options.

 

Health insurance

The biggest factor contributing to the cost of cancer treatment is your health insurance and how much they will cover. Of course, if you receive cancer treatment without health insurance, you are expected to pay all of your costs out-of-pocket, like:

Depending on your insurance provider and plan, you might still owe money toward your insurance (before receiving benefits). You might have to pay for the procedure on your own until you reach your premium or deductible (otherwise known as “sharing costs” with the insurance company).

Treatment Plan

Since there are many cancer treatment options (e.g. radiation therapy, surgery, pharmaceutical drugs) doctors will often choose a combination. Usually, a patient has to undergo radiation multiple times and may need to take a mix of medications during their treatment. Each visit adds up, and necessary treatment can span months or even years.

Drug Costs Vary Greatly

The amount of money a patient owes for their medicine depends on pharmaceutical companies. In the US, there are no governmental restrictions for what these companies are allowed to charge, so they create their own prices. For example, one drug (Kymria) cost patients $475,000 per treatment.

Geographic Location

If multiple treatment options exist in your area, the cost might be lower due to competition. In a place that doesn’t have as many options available, you’ll likely have to pay more to receive treatment. You should also factor in transportation costs for each treatment location.

Treatment Setting

Depending on the treatment, it could be located at a small clinic, hospital, or physician’s office. Each place will have various costs attributed to staff, equipment, treatment, etc. Often, the patient doesn’t get to choose where they’d like to receive treatment.

Cancer Treatment Cost Statistics

Cancer Treatment Cost Statistics - Universal Drugstore

In the US, $147.3 billion was spent on treating cancer in 2017. This cost is expected to rise as new, innovative procedures are discovered and more people are diagnosed with cancer.

 

How Much of My Cancer Treatment Will Be Covered by Insurance?

It is crucial to be insured, because without health insurance, you will have to pay for your cancer treatment on your own (and up front). It depends on the type of cancer (and how extensive treatments are), but over the course of just 5-6 months, the average cancer treatment costs an insured patient up to $10,500 out-of-pocket. These shared costs include reaching a deductible, paying premiums, and paying co-pays/co-insurance.

With an individual insurance plan and an employer sponsored plan, you will have to pay the most out-of-pocket in the first few months of treatment. If you have an employer sponsored plan, you pay yourself until you hit the co insurance maximum, then you just pay copays and premiums. If you have an individual plan, you pay on your own until you reach the out-of-pocket maximum. With a government sponsored plan, it’s typical to have higher premiums, but more protections and limits on how much you pay each year for treatment.

Studies show that if you have insurance provided by either an employer, individual private plan, or government plan, the majority of your total bill will be covered. The cost of treatment can easily be over $200,000, depending on the type of cancer and length of treatment. If you don’t have health insurance, this cost will be financially devastating.

Health insurance in the U.S. is notoriously known for being extremely costly. Before you purchase a plan, shop around and compare prices. If possible, see whether your employer will cover some/all of your health insurance. If not, consider turning to government insurance. Go over the fine print and understand exactly what is and isn’t covered, how your premium is affected, what your co-pay will be, etc.

How Should I Approach the Treatment Process?

When you are diagnosed with cancer, you’re faced with extreme challenges like treatment options, health insurance costs, and prospective financial issues. It’s important to be as knowledgeable as possible to appropriately handle all of the complications that go along with cancer, so you can focus on your health.

What to Ask Your Doctor About Treatment and Medications

Don’t be afraid to ask your doctors or health insurance provider any questions you have about the long road ahead of you. They’re there to help, and if you can save money and time (without skimping on your healthcare), it’s absolutely worth it. Ask them about:

Drugs Approved for Different Types of Cancer

A few cancer drugs approved for the four major cancer types in the US are listed below. Some cancer drugs may be indicated for more than one type of cancer.
Drugs Approved for Breast cancer: Afinitor (Everolimus), Arimidex (Anastrozole), Aromasin (Exemestane).

Stay Current on Cancer

A cancer diagnosis is one of the toughest things an individual and family can go through. Having some form of insurance coverage is the smartest decision in your cancer battle. Your insurance provider will take care of the majority of costs, but the patient will still have to pay out-of-pocket. A way to cut down on treatment costs is to find the best, most affordable cancer drugs available, and see if it’s possible to use generic brands. Hopefully, this information will help you stay well-informed and give you the ability to plan ahead during this difficult time.

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Retail Pharmacies Review

By uds uds | February 19, 2019

Retail Pharmacies Review - Universal Drugstore Pharmacy

Wondering whether you should order your medications online or from a chain retail pharmacy? Do you like ordering from the comfort of your home or do you prefer a more personal touch?

When it comes to purchasing prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, there is a growing amount of easy and convenient options online and offline. Before making a decision, however, it’s absolutely worth looking at the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Comparing Retail Pharmacies

The drugstore market in the US is dominated by four major retail pharmacies: Walmart, CVS, Costco, and Walgreens. In this comparison review, we go through the pros and cons of each to help you decide which one works best for your personal preferences.

Though retail pharmacies are conveniently close by, online drugstores can surprise you with a wider range of drugs at significantly lower prices. Universal Drugstore provides low-cost medications with the advantage of ordering online or over the phone. With our prescription service, you can purchase leading brand-name and generic medications while saving up to 80% on local pharmacy prices.

Walmart Pharmacy Review

Walmart is the largest retailer in the United States with about 4,600 pharmacies. While its retail locations are spread throughout the entire country, not every location has a pharmacy.

Pros of Walmart Pharmacy

Cons of Walmart Pharmacy

CVS Review

With just under 10,000 locations, CVS is the largest pharmacy chain in the US. Apart from prescription and OTC drugs, CVS offers beauty products, greeting cards, photo finishing services, and gift cards.

In addition, the company runs a retail chain clinic, Minute Clinics, where nurse practitioners can treat minor ailments, provide wellness services, and administer lab tests and vaccines.

Pros of CVS

Cons of CVS

Costco Pharmacy Review

Costco currently has over 500 pharmacies nationwide. In most states, Costco pharmacies are open to the public, meaning that a Costco membership is not required in order to fill a prescription.

Pros of Costco Pharmacy

Cons of Costco Pharmacy

Walgreens Review

With over 9,500 locations throughout the United States, Walgreens is the second-largest retail pharmacy (compared to CVS). The chain offers prescription and over-the-counter drugs, health information, personal care products, as well as photo services.

Pros of Walgreens

Cons of Walgreens

 

Online Pharmacies vs Retail Pharmacies

Online Pharmacies vs Retail Pharmacies - Universal Drugstore

The popularity of online pharmacies is growing, but it’s important to know exactly what benefits are offered and how they compare to traditional retail pharmacies.

Online Pharmacies

Ordering your medicines through an online pharmacy can save you a considerable amount of time. Other online drugstore benefits include:

There are, however, a few downsides to using online drugstores. These include:

Overall, the pros of using an online pharmacy outweigh the cons. It is important, however, to ensure that the online drugstore is safe and reputable.

Remember: a legitimate, certified online pharmacy always requires a doctor’s prescription before supplying any prescription medications.

Retail Pharmacies

Generally, many of the benefits of retail pharmacies reflect the disadvantages of using an online drugstore. Advantages of using brick-and-mortar pharmacies include:

For many people, retail pharmacies are the go-to place for OTC medications. Though there are benefits of buying from a physical pharmacy, there are also cons to keep in mind, including:

 

Drug Universal Drugstore

(Generic)

Walmart CVS Costco Walgreens
Premarin 0.625mg

84 tablets

$43 $421 $421 $421 $421
Januvia 100mg

84 tablets

$149 $1,327 $1,254 $1,286 $1,268
Myrbetriq 50mg

90 tablets

$275 $1,210 $1,051 $1,055 $1,063
Synthroid 50mg

90 tablets

$27 $10 $20 $25 $19
Xarelto 20mg 84 tablets $499 $1,233 $1,165 $1,195 $1,179
Spiriva 18mcg/Inh

30 tablets

$76 $446 $453 $443 $453
Ventolin HFA 90mcg $35 $60 $63 $61 $66

 

Save on Prescription and Over-The-Counter Drugs

Both online and retail pharmacies have their pros and cons. Weighing all of these, however, can help you determine the source that’s right for your medication needs.

It is clear, however, that online pharmacies beat physical pharmacies in terms of cost-effectiveness and convenience. Purchasing medications from Universal Drugstore will save you time and money. As a certified member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA), we can help you save money on your prescription drugs.

Universal Drugstore is devoted to providing each patient with the best customer service possible. This is why our patient care representatives are available 24/7 to provide all the information you might need, and to answer any questions you might have.

Ensure that your medication costs are not a burden or a barrier for managing your health. Purchase your prescriptions and OTC medication from Universal Drugstore and see dramatic savings!

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Everything You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer

By uds uds | January 16, 2019

Everything You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer - Universal Drugstore Pharmacy News

The prostate is a small gland in a man’s reproductive system which is responsible for protecting and transporting semen. Cancer occurs when the cells in the prostate multiply too quickly for the body to control or fight off.

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How to Find a Reputable Online Pharmacy

By uds uds | January 16, 2019

How to Find a Reputable Online Pharmacy - Universal Drugstore Pharmacy News

There are an increasing number of ways to buy prescription and over-the-counter medications from the convenience of your own home. Online pharmacies are efficient and simple. But while many are a great alternative to brick-and-mortar pharmacies, some are illegal and potentially dangerous.

If you decide to order your medicine from an online pharmacy, know the source and make sure it’s legitimate.

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Compare Online Pharmacies: Which One Can I Trust?

By uds uds | January 16, 2019

Compare Online Pharmacies: Which One Can I Trust? - Universal Drugstore Pharmacy News

Purchasing medications via online pharmacies has increased in popularity for more than two decades. Besides offering doorstep delivery – as well as greater access and anonymity – online medications can save customers a great deal of money. That said, finding a trustworthy online pharmacy can prove to be difficult.

According to the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies, 600 new illegal online pharmacies are launched each month. Buying prescription medicines from rogue online pharmacies can be dangerous – even deadly. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the risks of buying from fake drug websites and learn how to identify reputable online pharmacies.

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Everything You Need to Know About Breast Cancer

By uds uds | January 4, 2019

Everything You Need to Know About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer forms in the cells of the breasts. It is the second-most-common cancer in women, after skin cancer. Though more common in women, it can also occur in men.

Breast tumors may be detected by mammography or felt as a lump in the breast area.

The most common types of breast cancer are ductal carcinoma in situ, invasive ductal carcinoma, and invasive lobular carcinoma.

In 2018, the number of new cases of female breast cancer was estimated at 266,000.

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Universal Drugstore – Online Pharmacy Reviews

By uds uds | January 4, 2019

Universal Drugstore - Online Pharmacy Reviews

Anyone who has ordered products online knows that online shopping often beats mortar and bricks stores, especially in terms of discretion and convenience. To guarantee fast and easy medication delivery, there are certain things you must consider when purchasing prescription drugs online.

A good starting point to ensure the legitimacy of an online pharmacy is to read customer reviews. Generally speaking, website reviews are trustworthy as most people don’t have a vested interest in promoting the company. Comments may vary in their level of honesty and biases. However, trends are easy to spot and you can easily determine the overall customer satisfaction level.

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Buying Prescription Drugs Online: United States vs the Rest of the World

By uds uds | January 3, 2019

Buying Prescription Drugs Online: United States vs the Rest of the World - Universal Drugstore

Prescription medications in the US are much more expensive than in other developed nations. According to recent data, Americans spend twice as much on prescription drugs than consumers in other countries.

The high annual drug cost increases put a heavy financial burden on American consumers, who are often faced with the choice of paying for a life-saving medication or affording basic necessities.

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Why CanadaDrugs Closed Down & Where to Buy Medications Now

By uds uds | January 3, 2019

Why CanadaDrugs Closed Down & Where to Buy Medications Now - Universal Drugstore

CanadaDrugs was a renowned online pharmacy in Canada, known to be one of the industry pioneers. It was founded in 2001 as a response to the ever-increasing costs of prescription drugs in the US.

Due to its high-quality customer service, as well as affordable and safe medications, CanadaDrugs was a preferred prescription drug provider for Americans. However, on July 14, 2018, as a result of a plea deal with the American government, CanadaDrugs.com was to shut down and to stop selling medications to US customers.

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Mimpara Drug Information

By uds uds | November 26, 2018

Parathyroid Gland - Mimpara Drug Information - Universal Drugstore Pharmacy News

Mimpara is used to decrease the amounts of parathyroid in the bloodstream. Mimpara can also be prescribed to patients who have high amounts of calcium due to an overactive parathyroid gland, or cancer of the parathyroid gland.

When used regularly, Mimpara helps prevent bone disease.

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