Media Room

For Immediate Release

Truven Health Analytics Poll Finds Opinions Split Between Cancer Patients and Non-Patients on High-Cost Drugs

Cancer Patients More Likely to Support a Cancer Center’s Decision Not to Offer a New Drug

Ann Arbor, MI, Aug. 20, 2013 — 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™. Truven Health Analytics conducts a monthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of healthcare issues.

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.

The Truven Health Analytics Health 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 1-15, 2013. The margin of error is 1.8 percent.

About Truven Health Analytics, part of the IBM Watson Health Business

Truven Health Analytics an IBM Company, delivers the answers that clients need to help them improve healthcare quality and access while reducing costs. We provide market-leading performance improvement solutions built on data integrity, advanced analytics, and domain expertise. For more than 40 years, our insights and solutions have been providing hospitals and clinicians, employers and health plans, state and federal government agencies, life sciences companies, and policymakers the facts they need to help them make confident decisions that directly affect the health and well-being of people and organizations in the U.S. and around the world.

Truven Health Analytics owns some of the most trusted brands in healthcare, such as MarketScan®, 100 Top Hospitals®, Advantage Suite®, Micromedex®, Simpler®, ActionOI® and JWA. Truven Health has its principal offices in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Chicago; and Denver. For more information, please visit http://truvenhealth.com.


Brian Erni
For Truven Health Analytics
J. Roderick, Inc. Public Relations