Million-dollar health bills have spiked, and expensive drugs are playing a major role - (MarketWatch via NewsPoints Desk)

  • An analysis revealed that the number of patients whose medical costs exceed $1 million annually is surging, MarketWatch reported Monday.

  • According to the analysis of Sun Life Financial clients, the number of patients with seven-figure medical costs increased by 90 percent between 2014 and 2017, with injectable treatments such as those for rare diseases playing a major role.

  • "We're seeing drug claims that can be in the millions of dollars," commented Sun Life president Dan Fishbein, adding "most people don't imagine getting an $80 000 prescription, but that s relatively common now."

  • The report illustrated that among the 20 top prescribed drugs to patients with million-dollar medical bills, the largest share was for treatments for blood disorders, followed by cancer therapies.

  • The report identified consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act and earlier changes in US health policy  as likely causes of the spike in spending.

  • "What is the level of expense that we think is appropriate to pay for breakthrough drugs," questioned Fishbein, continuing "we will have to get to a point where we ask, 'Is a $23 million drug something we want to pay for as a society?'"

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