Policy Brief: Health Care Funding for Oncology Research and Treatment Development

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POLICY BRIEF: HEALTH CARE FUNDING FOR ONCOLOGY RESEARCH AND TREATMENT DEVELOPMENT

CANCER

Cancer has been one of the leading cause of death in today’s time. As per the statistics it is assessed that approximately 12,000 individuals in the United States are determined to have a neuroendocrine tumour every year. (“Worldwide cancer data,” 2018). Across the globe, the cases reported with cancer are increasing extensively. The Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) are largely affected with these health problems and they continue to bear a disproportionate share of the burden. Cancer is progressively a worldwide medical problem. In 2012, there were 14.1 million new malignant disease cases and 8.2 million malignancy related loss of life around the world. The World Health Organization extends that, by 2035, the world could predict new 24 million tumour cases and 14.5 million deaths due to cancer every year.

STATEMENT OF THE ISSUE

Arrangements declared by government at the elected state and federal level effects, affect practically every part of the daily activities with regards to oncology. Even with outrageous money related weights, approach creators will keep on making choices that have huge effect on the disease network. .  (“Oncology and Health Care Policy,” 2015)

Government strategies play a basic part in tumour investigation. In spite of the fact that the national assets dedicated to cancer investigations stay considerable (surpassing $5 billion, in 2012), the United States is losing openings and efficiencies as a result of problematic subsidizing. The mix of moderately level subsidization for the National Cancer Institution since 2003 and biomedical expansion, the funding has disintegrated the powerful level of government bolster for tumour inquire about by over 20% than the previous decade. The guarantee for new exceptionally successful cancer treatments has never been so much in demand and thus, the need to intensify the malignancy network’s pledge to guarantee that satisfactory research financing exists prominently. Federal Funding for oncology research has stayed level for over 10 years and has diminished when balanced for inflation. Recommence and expanded funding for the National Institution of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is essential for future advancement in Cancer care. (“Federally Funded Cancer Research,” 2016)

 

STATEMENT OF ORGANISATIONAL INTEREST IN THE ISSUE:

The Cancer institutes such as American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, American Medical Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Dana Farber, M.D. Anderson, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and many other Cancer Institutes would be benefitted by this policy recommendation. The inflammation adjustment in the proposed budget, reduces the NIH budget for 2018 from $31.8 billion to $26 billion, includes $1 billion less for the National Cancer Institute (Healthcare Tomorrow, 2018). Thus, with implementation of the recommended policy, there will be a focused study for the community benefit and with volunteers from other medical professionals such as public health professionals and public, private hospitals, effective treatments and satisfactory results would be delivered even with the decline of the funding.

PRESENT POLICIES WORKING TOWARDS CANCER TREATMENTS AND MEDICARE:

An unmistakable comprehension of the oncology healthcare and research funding progressions can encourage clinicians, health systems, general public health, public strategy experts, patient, consumers supporters and suppliers to recognise and direct required changes in cancer aversion and control and social insurance and all the more comprehensive health care at the federal level. With such strategies, it would be helping the national policies for Oncology department to work more specifically towards accessibility, reimbursement and betterment of the people nationwide.(“Accessibility,” 2013; “Comment Policy,” 2013)

Repayment arrangements under the present health care financing framework are confused and chaotic, notwithstanding for more established people who may expect some proportion of consistency under federal government statues that administer coverage under Medicare.

The policies change as per the socioeconomic status of the individual. The gender, financial background of the individual, as well as the race and caste of the individual are great factors impacting the national cancer strategies, giving rise to inequality for accessing Medicare as well as making it affordable. According to the studies carried out from 1996-2013 (Exarchakou, Rachet, Belot, Maringe, & Coleman, 2018), it emphasises that socioeconomic disparities remain a crucial public health issue for a healthcare system founded on equity.

Problems with the current policies for research funds and healthcare:

  • The government funds that run into the department of Oncology for research and health care development is not able to cope up with the statistical needs of public health today. These funds have not been allocated towards the Medicare and Research and do not meet the demands of the people. (“Federally Funded Cancer Research,” 2016)
  • Funds have been directed into drug discoveries and cancer treatments, whereas prevention for the disease is not given importance and the development of the same is at a stand-still. (“Federally Funded Cancer Research,” 2016)
  • The complete coverage for the diagnostic procedures is not provided, however the government funds are provided for making the cancer Medicare more affordable for the people. (Saqib, Iftikhar, & Sarwar, 2018)

POLICY OPTIONS

  1. Research on vulnerable groups for cancer; access to cancer preventive services; and       Strategic public awareness and education campaigns. Making accessible and affordable services for every individual regardless of their socioeconomic status.
  2. Research over cancer types that are most common and camouflaged into the community. Take rapid preventive measures for it, provide betterment opportunities to the healthcare providers to play an active role in preventing as well as curing the patients and educate people regarding the same. Also making the Healthcare for cancer more accessible and affordable. The healthcare providers may form transparency for their facilities and also have a patient doctor symbiotic relationship for better transparency and understanding.
  3. Making the Medicare stronger and more well-versed with the newer treatments and preventive healthcare, overcome the policy hinderances and give newer chnaces for Nurse Practitioners in Oncology under specialised and experienced doctors.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

No Advantages Disadvantages
Policy 1
  1. Researching vulnerable groups will give you an exact figure of the people falling under the susceptible group.
  2. It will also help these people to gain preventive measures for the same, so that future sufferings can be avoided.

(“What is Public Policy and How Does It Impact Cancer Care?” 2018)

  1. Human resources required will be more as conducting campaigns and awareness needs to be in person sessions for better understanding of the medical requirements.
  2. Also collecting data for family history and medical backgrounds might not be cost effective.
Policy 2
  1. Every community does not have same needs. The requirements of every community are different as the environment and medical needs vary from individual to individual, community to community.
  2. It will provide rapid measures to avoid further growth and spread of cancer in the community.
  3. It provides accessibility and affordability, education of the policies as well as treatments provided for cancer treatment. It also educates about newer cancer types and what its symptoms and treatments. (“Value in Cancer Care,” 2016)
  1. A lot of data base is required. A lot of research is required.
  2. Volunteering is also required as funding will not be satisfactory for establishing this policy.

Volunteering can be from government hospitals and cancer centres as well.

(“New State of Cancer Care in America Article Provides Update on the Oncology Practice Landscape,” 2018)

Policy 3
  1. Nurses will be more familiar with the newer treatments by working with experienced and specialised doctors and thus, better facilitated and effective medical care can be provided to the people.

(“ONS Brings Together Health Policy Experts Patient Advocates for April Policy Summit,” 2018)

  1. Making the Medicare stronger for oncology will require money inflow in bigger amounts than the original amount of $5 billion. To get this money, either the taxes would have to be increased or the medical insurances will have to be charged more and both of this will directly affect income of the people and their lifestyle quality.

(“Budget and Appropriations Status,” 2016; “Value in Cancer Care,” 2016)

RECOMMENDATION

Policy option 2 is more efficient in solving the above-mentioned community issues. Every community differs in its health issues so knowing the exact vulnerable cancer type for the specific society and forming preventive measures for it is very important. Having a compatibility between the doctor/nurse and the patient and their family is very important for creating a positive environment for the patient.

Also, not every society has same socioeconomical status and thus making the healthcare for cancer more affordable and accessible for every individual irrespective of its caste, race, religion, sex and financial background will help the mankind to win over Cancer. Government may start stirring over this policy at a federal level.

Implementing this policy option will help develop a well-educated community with people aware about cancer and its symptoms and understand that medical check-ups are better and not ignore serious symptoms till they become life threatening.

(“Global Cancer Research,” 2015; “Healthcare & Insurance Cancer Outcomes | American Cancer Society,” 2018; “What is Public Policy and How Does It Impact Cancer Care?”2018)

REFRENCES

Accessibility. (2013, February 5). [nciGeneral]. Retrieved October 31, 2018, from https://www.cancer.gov/policies/accessibility

As Government-Funded Cancer Research Sags, Is U.S. Losing its Edge? (2018). Retrieved November 18, 2018, from https://www.usnews.com/news/healthcare-of-tomorrow/articles/2017-06-02/as-government-funded-cancer-research-sags-scientists-fear-us-is-losing-its-edge

Budget and Appropriations Status. (2016, June 8). [nciGeneral]. Retrieved November 12, 2018, from https://www.cancer.gov/about-nci/legislative/current-congress/budget-appropriations

Comment Policy. (2013, February 5). [nciGeneral]. Retrieved October 31, 2018, from https://www.cancer.gov/policies/comments

Exarchakou, A., Rachet, B., Belot, A., Maringe, C., & Coleman, M. P. (2018). Impact of national cancer policies on cancer survival trends and socioeconomic inequalities in England, 1996-2013: population based study. BMJ, 360, k764. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k764

Federally Funded Cancer Research. (2016, February 8). Retrieved November 12, 2018, from https://www.asco.org/advocacy-policy/policies-positions-guidance/federally-funded-cancer-research

Global Cancer Research. (2015, May 12). [cgvArticle]. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from https://www.cancer.gov/research/areas/global-health

Healthcare & Insurance Cancer Outcomes | American Cancer Society. (2017). Retrieved October 15, 2018, from https://www.cancer.org/research/we-fund-cancer-research/apply-research-grant/grant-types/rfa-role-healthcare-insurance-cancer.html

New State of Cancer Care in America Article Provides Update on the Oncology Practice Landscape. (2018, June 15). Retrieved November 12, 2018, from https://www.asco.org/advocacy-policy/asco-in-action/new-state-cancer-care-america-article-provides-update-oncology

Oncology and Health Care Policy. (2015, March 4). Retrieved October 2, 2018, from https://clinicalgate.com/oncology-and-health-care-policy-2/

ONS Brings Together Health Policy Experts Patient Advocates for April Policy Summit. (2018, March 8). Retrieved October 15, 2018, from https://www.ons.org/newsroom/news/ons-brings-together-health-policy-experts-patient-advocates-april-policy-summit

Saqib, A., Iftikhar, S., & Sarwar, M. R. (2018). Availability and affordability of biologic versus non-biologic anticancer medicines: a cross-sectional study in Punjab, Pakistan. BMJ Open, 8(6). https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019015

Value in Cancer Care. (2016, May 31). Retrieved November 12, 2018, from https://www.asco.org/practice-guidelines/cancer-care-initiatives/value-cancer-care

What is Public Policy and How Does It Impact Cancer Care? (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2018, from https://www.canceradvocacy.org/cancer-policy/what-is-public-policy/

Worldwide cancer data. (2018, August 6). Retrieved October 13, 2018, from https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/cancer-trends/worldwide-cancer-data

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