Challenges around Access to and Cost of Life-Saving Medications after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Medicare Patients

Stephanie Farnia, Alex Ganetsky, Alicia Silver, Theresa Hwee, Jaime Preussler, Joan Griffin, Nandita Khera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is an expensive, medically complicated, and potentially life-threatening therapy for multiple hematologic and nonhematologic disorders with a prolonged trajectory of recovery. Similar to financial issues in other cancer treatments, adverse financial consequences of HCT are emerging as an important issue and may be associated with poor quality of life and increased distress in HCT survivors. Prescription medicine coverage for HCT for Medicare and some Medicaid beneficiaries, especially in the long-term, remains suboptimal because of inadequate payer formularies or prohibitive copays. With an increasing number of older patients undergoing HCT and improvement in the overall survival after HCT, the problem of financial burden faced by Medicare beneficiaries with fixed incomes is going to worsen. In this article, we describe the typical financial burden borne by HCT recipients based on estimated copayment amounts attached to the categories of key medications as elucidated through 2 case studies. We also suggest some possible solutions for consideration to help these patients and families get through the HCT by minimizing the financial burden from essential medications needed during the post-HCT period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1387-1392
Number of pages6
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017



  • Financial burden
  • Hematopoietic cell transplantation
  • Medicare
  • Prescription coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation

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