Ethical Requirements. Consent of the Bioethical Committee was not required as the study was retrospective, and based on financial and accounting data. Medical documentation was not analysed.
The rapidly growing market for drugs, including oncology and haemato-oncology drugs, is generating enormous financial expenditure for healthcare systems. In Poland, access to high-cost treatments is possible mainly within drug programmes, funded by public healthcare systems. The path of proceeding adopted in Polish regulations is similar to the solutions adopted in other countries.

The aim of this study was to demonstrate the actual costs incurred by the treatment entity in the process of treating patients under the drug programme at the Regional Oncology Centre in Olsztyn, north-east Poland.

Material and methods:
The oncology drug programme B.54 ‘Treatment of patients with refractory or malignant plasmocytic myeloma’ implemented at the Regional Oncology Centre in Poland between 2018–2021, was selected for the analysis. The choice of the B.54 programme was based on the small population of patients meeting the inclusion criteria for this programme, and the large number of diagnostic procedures stipulated in the drug programme description. On average, 25 patients were treated per year. The financial analysis used the financial categories related to hospital billing information. The costs were presented based on the purchasing power parity of money in 2021, i.e. 1 USD-inter is equivalent to 1.837 PLN.

The flat rate form of financing medical services does not cover the actual costs of treatment. Providing patients with necessary medical services without their full coverage by the public payer, burdens the budget of the centre and may lead to indebtedness of the treatment entity.

Without an increase in the valuation of benefits under drug programmes, corresponding to the actual costs of treatment, the expected increase in access to innovative therapies will be difficult to accomplish.

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