Reducing cancer care costs for patients

Image of cancer patient hugging friend

Chemotherapy is a lifesaving cancer treatment. But like many infusions, the medications used in chemotherapy are often costly—a single treatment can sometimes cost thousands of dollars.

The biosimilars program at Spectrum Health Lakeland is helping to reduce out-of-pocket costs for cancer treatment and ease the financial burden for cancer patients and their families. Since our program began in 2019, patients have seen an estimated $800,000 in cost savings when biosimilars are used for cancer treatment.

Same treatment, smaller cost

Biosimilars have a similar molecular structure to an original “reference” drug. They are an infusion drug like the one patients would normally receive. They are similar on a molecular level with no clinical differences in safety, purity, and potency. And biosimilars are significantly lower in cost than reference drugs.

Available now at Lakeland

Biosimilars were first used in Europe in the early 2000s. After seeing positive outcomes for cancer patients abroad, the FDA started a rigorous testing and approval program for biosimilars in the United States.

Still considered an innovative treatment, biosimilars are not widely available in the U.S. In fact, Spectrum Health Lakeland is one of the few health systems in the country working to approve more biosimilars for cancer care.

We believe biosimilars are helping to reduce the financial and emotional stress of cancer treatment. If you think biosimilars could be right for you, ask your
provider for more details.

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© Spectrum Health Lakeland 2021