By DCode Care Team | November 30th 2021
Chemotherapy costs are quite high in India, the costs range from Rs.15,000/- to Rs.50,000/- per cycle. The variation in cost is mainly due to the type of drugs being used to treat you. Depending on the type and stage of cancer, your oncologist may prescribe specific chemotherapy drugs that are proven to work on your type of cancer.
Chemotherapy is not the same for every patient.
Variation in cost of treatment makes it difficult to compare chemotherapy prices and subsequently decide on the hospital which you can trust. We have detailed out all the factors that influence chemotherapy cost. This will help you to decide the right chemotherapy treatment for you at an affordable rate.
Let us understand the various factors that comprise the cost of your chemotherapy treatment.
Chemotherapy Cost = Number of chemo cycles X Cost of (drug + infusion charge) per cycle
50% of the charges of chemotherapy is usually the cost of the drug or medicine that is being used for treatment. And that cost is again dependent on the type and stage of cancer. If the drugs are patented, prices are usually high.
Usually up to 50% of chemotherapy charges are non-drug charges such as administrative fee, bed charges, service charges, nursing charges etc. All of these charges vary as per the size of the hospital that is administering the chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy treatment is done in cycles. Each cycle is an infusion session that can last between 4-12 hours. Few cases may need overnight admission but the majority chemotherapy cycles are done under day care admission. Each cycle is administered 2-3 weeks apart depending on your case. Usually, you would need to take up to 6 cycles of chemotherapy. Number of cycles varies case to case. Just like antibiotics for bacterial disease, chemo for cancer requires you to complete all cycles for complete elimination of the disease from your body. Some centres or oncologists might help you reduce overall charges by reducing the number of cycles, but that may not help with your recovery.
Now that we have understood the factors influencing the costs of your chemotherapy treatment, let us understand how we can work towards cost reduction.
The smaller facilities, such as the cancer daycare centres, are comparatively more affordable than large comprehensive hospitals. Large centres charge cancer medicines and drugs at MRP while day care centres will provide discounts of around 20% on MRP.
Tip: Research the quality of drugs being supplied in the day care centre you are considering for your cancer treatment. Cheaper drugs may not have the same effect even though they show the same ingredients in the contents. Our team at Dcode Care has assessed such day care facilities within Bangalore and can help you speed up your treatment process. Get in touch with us if you need help.
Our patient counsellors help thousands of patients make the right decisions in terms of drug choice, you can avail this facility absolutely free of cost with us.
Patient Assistance Programs are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies to support cancer patients with their medication costs. Pharma companies generally work with oncologists to roll out benefits like 2+1, which means if you buy a certain medication for 2 cycles then the medicine for the third cycle is provided for free. Depending on the cancer type and stage there might be varied programs like these offered by the pharma companies directly. You can share your prescription with our team to check if you qualify for a Patient Assistance Program
How to enrol for a Patient Assistance Program?
Get in touch with your medical oncologist to enquire about such programs. They will put you in touch with distributors or stockists of the pharma companies to enrol you for the program. Day care centres also put their patients in touch with their network of stockists for extending offers to patients.
Opting for smaller or medium sized cancer care facilities like a day care centre will help you reduce the infusion charges. There is no hospitalisation in such centres. You can avail your chemotherapy treatment under the supervision of trained oncologists and nurses and go home the same day. Such centres charge administration costs at much lower rates than larger hospitals.
For easy understanding of the charges see a screenshot of a bill generated for chemotherapy treatment in a large hospital.
Notice how the pharmacy charges are around Rs 19,500 which is the price of the cancer drug or medicine and the rest are just administrative charges. This is for a triple sharing economy bed yet the additional charges apart from the medications amount to more than 65% of the total cost of chemotherapy treatment.
Bangalore has a number of day care centres in different parts of the city and our team has already done the due diligence to identify the best ones in the following areas:
If you want to know about the nearest Cancer Day care centre and the facilities available in it, get in touch with us and we will guide you throughout the process. Remember we do not charge our patients for guiding them through their treatment journey.
A lot of centres or oncologists might reduce the number of cycles of your chemotherapy in order to give you a discounted rate. This is not a recommended practice to reduce your cost of chemo. Just like antibiotics courses need to be completed to completely eliminate bacterial disease from your body, chemotherapy also is needed in recommended cycles to eliminate cancer from your body. The number of cycles depends on the type of cancer, the stage and the drug that is being administered. It is a complicated decision which only a qualified medical oncologist will be able to make.
We have simplified the decision of identifying the right medical oncologist or cancer doctor for you by listing all oncologists in Bangalore based on Cancer types here.
In conclusion, chemotherapy costs can be reduced by upto 50% by simply opting for:
Daycare centres -
Patient Assistance Programs.
At DCode Care, we put our patients and their caregivers at the centre of the treatment journey. The interests, abilities and financial situations of the patients are important factors to weigh in while choosing the right hospital for treatment. If you want to find out if you are eligible for a patient assistance program, get in touch with us and we will be able to provide you options to reduce your treatment costs.