Dr Morgans discusses how patient access impacts treating metastatic prostate cancer.
Matthew Fowler: Is patient access a factor when considering the best treatment, whether it be cost, travel, or the availability of a caregiver?
Alicia Morgans, MD, MPH: Patient access is always one of the most important things that we have to think about. The treatment doesn’t work if a patient can’t get the treatment and it’s still in the bottle, in the bag, or at the pharmacy. We need to get the treatment to the patient. One of the things that’s most important when we think about the difference between efficacy in a clinical trial and effectiveness in a real-world population is this barrier, this access issue that can absolutely limit patients from getting treated.
If a patient can’t come to the clinic and get their infusion for chemotherapy, it’s not going to be effective. Or if a patient can’t get prior authorization to have access to a PARP inhibitor, even if he has a mutation that should be sensitive to that PARP inhibitor, it’s not going to be effective. These are absolutely things we need to think about. And each treatment has its own necessities. Whether it’s traveling to the clinic, monitoring for cytopenias, or a co-pay, each treatment is going to have specific aspects that can limit access. We as clinicians need to think about that and ensure that we resolve as many as possible to ensure that we get our patients the treatments that they need.
This transcript has been edited for clarity.