Author Topic: Some questions about medical treatment in the US  (Read 910 times)

havregryn

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Some questions about medical treatment in the US
« on: March 28, 2019, 11:56:18 PM »
This is not personally relevant to me but I would like to understand it better and I feel here people would have an idea (as most are from the US and understand money).

My Facebook feed and all the media in my home country (Croatia) are currently full of pleas to participate in a campaign that aims to gather 2,8 million $ for a 2 year old girl with leukemia to go for potentially life-saving treatment in the US (children's hospital in Philadelphia).

Now, as a mother of small kids I feel very touched by this and I want to donate, but I still have a need to understand this better as this is a ludicrous sum and googling didn't really tell me what it would be that they'd be doing in Philadelphia that no one can do anywhere else in the world ((or in the US even to get some kind of price  comparison) and what could possibly cost this much.

I have a feeling that this could be desperate parents falling for someone's sales pitch (I think it is indicative that this exact hospital had already been featured in a similar case when the girl died before treatment could start, gives me the feeling that someone in the hospital in Croatia has some ties there and refers people without actually doing due dilligence on options available within the EU (that would be covered by insurance and cost a fraction of this sum).

So I guess my questions are:
Is it realistic that an attempt to treat acute megakaryoblastic leukemia in a 2 year old would cost 2,8 million $ and what options would someone have to check whether the same kind of care is provided somewhere else for less?
Thanks!

MayDay

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Re: Some questions about medical treatment in the US
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2019, 06:56:36 AM »
The cost is probably accurate for cancer treatment in the US, but like you said, there are surely options in the EU, and the child may not even be a good candidate. I don't know enough (or anything!) To say but I do know that oncologists aren't typically very realistic about 2nd and thirs line chemo working (it usually doesn't).

Car Jack

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Re: Some questions about medical treatment in the US
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2019, 07:19:07 AM »
Not out of line.  My Father in Law has been treated for various cancers over the last 25 years.  His insurance has paid out well over $4,000,000 thus far.

neophyte

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Re: Some questions about medical treatment in the US
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2019, 07:28:32 AM »
If I had to make a naive guess, I'd guess they want to try CAR-T therapy. It may still be at the clinical trial stage which would limit where it is available. The amount doesn't seem out of line to me and I know they require to see proof of funds in excess of what they expect to charge before they will begin treatment for foreign patients. They also want to be sure there's money for the kid's family to support themselves for several months while they are receiving treatment.

havregryn

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Re: Some questions about medical treatment in the US
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2019, 08:11:22 AM »
If I had to make a naive guess, I'd guess they want to try CAR-T therapy. It may still be at the clinical trial stage which would limit where it is available. The amount doesn't seem out of line to me and I know they require to see proof of funds in excess of what they expect to charge before they will begin treatment for foreign patients. They also want to be sure there's money for the kid's family to support themselves for several months while they are receiving treatment.

This was my guess too after researching but this is where I got a bit skeptical. I found this https://www.novartis.com/news/media-releases/novartis-receives-european-commission-approval-its-car-t-cell-therapy-kymriah-tisagenlecleucel?fbclid=IwAR2mBYMzxYtiw51H0pTOEBaTYYi8yaNqjbBpVltMlbc2Z5VPcX1CHiXkrRM
So why would this only be possible there?
Googling has also given me this https://www.philly.com/philly/health/cancer/Philly-discovery-for-kids-with-leukemia-prepares-to-go-global.html

so
Quote
Twenty-five highly specialized medical centers in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia are part of the ongoing trial.

And this was in 2016.

I have a feeling this is not necessarily the only, maybe not even the best option, but parents are understandably desperate and someone is pushing them in this direction.
I think it's quite unlikely they would be able to raise this much money, especially in a time frame a terminally ill kid would need.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 08:12:54 AM by havregryn »

better late

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Re: Some questions about medical treatment in the US
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2019, 11:28:51 AM »
If I had to make a naive guess, I'd guess they want to try CAR-T therapy. It may still be at the clinical trial stage which would limit where it is available. The amount doesn't seem out of line to me and I know they require to see proof of funds in excess of what they expect to charge before they will begin treatment for foreign patients. They also want to be sure there's money for the kid's family to support themselves for several months while they are receiving treatment.

I am also guessing it's the CAR T therapy.  We know a family who traveled to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia CHOP for their child's last-chance treatment for Leukemia. While I understand there may be other places that may be beginning their work in this area, CHOP has been doing this for a relatively long time now (since 2012) which would increase the odd of survival and success.  The video and article describe the outcome for first child who underwent this procedure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6SzI2ZfPd4

https://www.chop.edu/stories/relapsed-leukemia-emilys-story


« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 11:37:54 AM by better late »