Posted by: Chris Maloney | November 19, 2011

F.D.A. Keeps Avastin as Breast Cancer Drug But Makes You Pay For It.

Age-standardised death rates from Breast cance...

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F.D.A. Revokes Approval of Avastin for Use as Breast Cancer Drug –

In other news, the same company that fought so hard for Avastin will continue to charge breast cancer patients for it.  All the FDA is really doing is transferring the costs for the medication:  “Avastin will remain on the market as a treatment for other types of cancers, so doctors can use it off-label for breast cancer. But insurers might no longer pay for the drug, which would put it out of reach of many women because it costs about $88,000 a year.”

So if you have income, and you want Avastin, quit your job and become destitute:  “Federal officials said on Friday that Medicare would still provide coverage for the drug’s use in breast cancer, though the government plans to “monitor the issue and evaluate coverage options.”

Can we be clear that there are dozens of alternatives for breast cancer that are currently not in clinical trials because they won’t make their manufacturers 88k a year?  This particular drug does not work, despite all efforts to massage the data:  “clinical trials had shown that the drug was not helping breast cancer patients to live longer or to meaningfully control their tumors, but did expose them to potentially serious side effects like severe high blood pressure and hemorrhaging.”


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