While the news about immunotherapy drugs and the almost miraculous results Jimmy Carter had using Keytruda is mostly positive, the fact remains that not all patients will have access to these therapies. Many insurance companies consider immuno-oncology drugs to be experimental and place them on higher tiers of coverage. Some patients must pay between 20-25% of the cost of these drugs, which are astronomically expensive.
Getting patients access to these treatments even frustrates the doctors who prescribe them. While health care providers want the best for their patients, they also realize that for some patients, these new therapies are out of reach because of cost. While some pharmaceutical companies offer discounts and prescriptions assistance, many do not and it's the patients who can suffer as a result.