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Purchasing Drugs Abroad Among U.S. Cancer Survivors: Analysis of the National Health Interview Survey, 2011–2018

  • Young-Rock Hong
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Young-Rock Hong, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Services Research, Management & Policy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, PO Box 100195, Gainesville FL 32610.
    Affiliations
    Department of Health Services Research Management & Policy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

    UF Health Cancer Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
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  • Zhigang Xie
    Affiliations
    Department of Health Services Research Management & Policy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
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  • Michael S. Gutter
    Affiliations
    UF Health Cancer Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

    Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
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  • Folakemi T. Odedina
    Affiliations
    Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Orlando, Florida

    Department of Radiation Oncology, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
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  • Juan M. Hincapie-Castillo
    Affiliations
    Department of Pharmaceutical Outcomes & Policy, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

    Center for Drug Evaluation and Safety, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
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Published:December 24, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2020.10.017
      According to the American Cancer Society, >1.8 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020. Many patients with cancer face financial toxicity, which can lead to negative outcomes during the course of cancer treatment.
      • Carrera PM
      • Kantarjian HM
      • Blinder VS
      The financial burden and distress of patients with cancer: understanding and stepping-up action on the financial toxicity of cancer treatment.
      Unfortunately, patients with cancer in the U.S. report increasing difficulties with affording their prescription medications.
      • Nipp RD
      • Shui AM
      • Perez GK
      • et al.
      Patterns in health care access and affordability among cancer survivors during implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
      Cancer drugs routinely exceed $100,000 per year of treatment.
      • Carrera PM
      • Kantarjian HM
      • Blinder VS
      The financial burden and distress of patients with cancer: understanding and stepping-up action on the financial toxicity of cancer treatment.
      ,
      • Nipp RD
      • Shui AM
      • Perez GK
      • et al.
      Patterns in health care access and affordability among cancer survivors during implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
      Patients and their families are forced to make coping decisions to manage this financial burden.
      • Carrera PM
      • Kantarjian HM
      • Blinder VS
      The financial burden and distress of patients with cancer: understanding and stepping-up action on the financial toxicity of cancer treatment.
      Data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) estimate that 2 million Americans purchase prescriptions abroad to save money.
      • Hong YR
      • Hincapie-Castillo JM
      • Xie Z
      • Segal R
      • Mainous 3rd, AG
      Socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of U.S. adults who purchase prescription drugs from other countries.
      However, to date, little is known of this practice in the oncology setting. This study examines the prevalence and the socioeconomic and access-to-care factors associated with purchasing medications outside the U.S. among cancer survivors.
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      REFERENCES

      1. Cancer facts & figures 2020. American Cancer Society.https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/all-cancer-facts-figures/cancer-facts-figures-2020.html. Accessed July 30, 2020.

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