Re-evaluating the cost of outpatient cancer chemotherapy.
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Chemotherapy for common malignant tumours has historically been considered relatively expensive. An examination of costs at the Toronto-Bayview Regional Cancer Centre and Sunnybrook Medical Centre, Toronto, suggests that this perception is not accurate. The cost of chemotherapeutic agents administered on an outpatient basis over 4 to 6 months in established drug protocols ranged from $260 to $5374 (mean $2224). The total cost of outpatient administration was estimated to be $152.53 per dose, compared with $185.39 for inpatient administration of the same protocol, a difference of 22%. The difference was predominantly due to a higher allocated per-diem charge at the medical centre. The results indicate that outpatient administration reduces the overall cost of chemotherapy.
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