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Truven Health Analytics Poll Finds Opinions Split Between Cancer Patients, Non-Patients On High-Cost Drugs

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ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – Cancer patients may have a different point of view on oncology drug decisions than non-patients, according to a new poll conducted by Truven Health Analytics.

The survey asked respondents about a recent decision by a large cancer center not to offer a new medication that has similar benefits and side effects to an existing drug, but is more costly. In total, the poll found that 40.5 percent of Americans agreed with the center’s decision, while 37.5 percent disagreed.

However, agreement with the cancer center’s decision varied with the respondents’ exposure to cancer. Those who had a family member, friend or loved one with cancer, but had not experienced cancer themselves, were the least likely to agree with the decision (36 percent), while those who had a family member, friend or loved one with cancer and also had experienced cancer themselves were the most likely to agree (50.8 percent).

“Cancer patients who have experience with cancer drugs are aware of not only the benefits, but also the potential for side-effects and significant out-of-pocket costs,” said Michael Taylor, M.D., chief medical officer at Truven Health Analytics. “Based on these data, it appears that individuals who have experienced cancer treatment first-hand may have a greater understanding of the limits of current medications and may be more likely to accept professional opinions regarding the choice not to use a particular medication.”

Overall, 56.9 percent of respondents said they have a friend or family member currently being treated for cancer. Fourteen and a half percent said they themselves have or are currently being treated for cancer.

Truven Health Analytics conducts a monthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of healthcare issues. The poll is powered by the Truven Health Pulse Healthcare Survey, an independently funded, nationally representative telephone and Internet poll that collects information about health-related behaviors and attitudes and healthcare utilization from more than 82,000 US households annually. The figures in this month’s poll are based on 2,615 participants interviewed from March 1 to 15, 2013. The margin of error is 1.8 percent.

Truven provides information, analytic tools, benchmarks and services to the healthcare industry. Hospitals, government agencies, employers, health plans, clinicians, and pharmaceutical companies have relied on its solutions for over 30 years.

Truven Health Analytics employs approximately 2,000 people worldwide at its Ann Arbor headquarters and offices in Chicago and Denver.

For more information, please visit http://truvenhealth.com.

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