[How Long Should We Continue the Chemotherapy?-From the View Point of Health Economics]

Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 2016 Jul;43(7):809-18.
[Article in Japanese]


The continuation of cancer chemotherapy was examined from the view point of the patient's economic burden and the national finance. Along with the rapid technological progress, anti-cancer drugs become more and more expensive. According to our survey, not a little patient was obliged to give up the most appropriate treatment due to some economic reasons. The impact of the increasing cost of cancer treatment and the rational measure to minimize the patient's burden were discussed. The mean out-of-pocket expense of the patients without economic worries was three-fourths that of the patients with economic worries. In other words, if the economic burden is reduced by around a quarter in the patients whose burden is heavy, they would certainly receive optimal medical care. As for the situation in which the cancer chemotherapy have to be interrupted due to the constraint of limited funding, it seemed difficult to continue to avoid this thoroughly in the future without the drastic reform of medical insurance system. The importance to set priorities and allocate human and financial resources within the financial crunch was discussed while making reference to health care reforms of several western countries in the late 1990's.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / economics*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cost of Illness
  • Decision Making
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Insurance, Health
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / economics*


  • Antineoplastic Agents