Patients’ Access to Cancer Care

Patients with cancer and those who have recently completed treatment are finding it challenging to get necessary health care in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many are experiencing financial stress trying to afford care in an increasingly difficult economic environment. According to a survey by Cancer Action Network, half of patients and survivors have experienced an impact on care. Most often, this is in the form of in-person care deferral, delayed access to imaging services or an inability to obtain supportive care. 40% of cancer patients report that economic difficulties related to COVID-19 are affecting their ability to afford care.

Implications for Biopharmaceutical Companies

Due to social distancing regulations and financial difficulties, cancer patients are delaying or defaulting on adequate treatment. Biopharmaceutical firms need to prepare for an increase in demand for patient financial support, which will likely be a long-term change. Furthermore, companies should use HUB services to proactively distribute educational materials to patients about how to discuss treatment adherence with their physicians. Important elements of these materials would include questions for HCPs on the impact of delay on treatment outcomes, alternative administration sites and how to engage in the healthcare system safely during COVID-19.