Spending on Cancer Rises Sharply Over Ten Year Period

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Anita Soni, PhD, MBA

Survey Analyst/Statistician
Project Officer, AHRQ Healthcare Data Analytics and Statistical Products Contract
Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Rockville, MD 20850

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Soni: The data used for this comes from Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which is a household respondent survey. The expenditures reported for the treatment of cancer in 2001 were converted in to 2011 dollars and compared with expenditures reported by households respondents in 2011.Main findings of the study are that in 2011, approximately 15.8 million adults or 6.7 percent of the adult U.S. population received treatment for cancer. This represents an increase from 2001, when 10.2 million  adults or 4.8 percent of the population reported receiving treatment for cancer. Medical spending to treat cancer increased from $56.8 billion in 2001 (in 2011 dollars) to $88.3 billion in 2011. Ambulatory expenditures for care and treatment of cancer increased from $25.5 billion in 2001 to $43.8 billion in 2011. Expenditures on retail prescription medications for cancer increased from $2.0 billion in 2001 to $10.0 billion in 2011. Mean annual retail prescription drug expenditures for those with an  expense related to cancer increased more than three times, from $201 per person in 2001 (in 2011 dollars) to $634 per person in 2011. Inpatient hospital expenditures accounted for 47 percent of total spending for cancer treatment in 2001, but fell to 35 percent of the total by 2011.

Based on these numbers, the spending on cancer has risen in all aspects, number of people receiving treatment, spending on prescription drugs, medical visits as well as the hospital stays.


Trends in Use and Expenditures for Cancer Treatment among Adults 18 and Older, U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2001 and 2011
AHRQ Agency For Healthcare Research and Quality June 2014

Anita Soni, PhD, MBA

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Last Updated on July 17, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD