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D-MoZone is the place to find out what’s new with pianist/composer/educator Diane Moser. Keep an eye on this blog for updates on music, health, gigs, fundraisers, random thoughts and all things D-Mo. And please keep sending your thoughts, good wishes and comments this way—they’re always needed and always appreciated.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Insurance lags in covering cancer-care pills ...

The New York Times published a front-page article yesterday on the great progress made in treating cancer with pills rather than intravenous chemotherapy. Unfortunately, insurance companies haven't kept up and most of the financial burden for the chemo pills falls on the patient.

The drug D-Mo is most likely to take, Gleevec, is among the examples provided. The article says that Gleevec has helped turn gastrointestinal stromal tumors, like Diane had, and other types of cancer into "manageable diseases for many patients." Another Times article, published when Gleevec was approved in 2001, says: ''This is the first effective therapy for GIST, a cancer that always has been completely resistant to chemotherapy and radiation..."

It's great to hear that the treatment is so effective. But the costs are staggering and in some cases the treatment can go on for years.

Yesterday's Times also had a sidebar about how doctors are dealing with the costs, and a chart showing the wholesale price of the top 10 chemo pills (click on link "Now in pill form").

Interesting stuff. It's comforting to hear that the meds work, though the prices are breath-taking. The wholesale price for a month of Gleevec is $3,600.

Let's hope that Obama and Congress are able to make a difference in health-care coverage SOON!

In the meantime, maybe we can start a petition or a letter to our representatives asking them to support improved health-care coverage. Does anyone have any ideas/experience about doing something like that? It would be great to have a sign-up sheet at the benefit concerts.

1 comment:

  1. Elzy/Other (or Diane yourself): Is her / your "secretary" working on the various sources of funds eligible for musicians in need of medical expense help that I gave Mo / you a couple of weeks ago? Alex