Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Health Care Bill HR3590 -#2047 - It Begins: FDA May Pull Avastin Approval of Cost Concerns - Hot Air

When Barack Obama and the Democrats spent most of a year pushing their deeply unpopular health-care system overhaul, they repeatedly insisted that government intervention in the market would not mean that treatment decisions would come down to cost issues — even while demonizing providers as Tonsil Vultures and amputation-happy predators. Today, however, the Washington Post reports on an effort at the FDA to decertify Avastin as a treatment for breast cancer and its implications for cost savings at Medicare: Federal regulators are considering taking the highly unusual step of rescinding approval of a drug that patients with advanced breast cancer turn to as a last-ditch hope.

The debate over Avastin, prescribed to about 17,500 women with breast cancer a year, has become entangled in the politically explosive struggle over medical spending and effectiveness that flared during the battle over health-care reform: How should the government balance protecting patients and controlling costs without restricting access to cutting-edge, and often costly, treatments? The FDA is not supposed to consider costs in its decisions, but if the agency rescinds approval, insurers are likely to stop paying for treatment.   Read more.......

U.S. Breast Cancer Drug Decision 'Marks Start of Death Panels' - Telegraph UK -America's health watchdog is considering revoking its approval of the drug Avastin for use on women with advanced breast cancer, leading to accusations that it will mark the start of 'death panel' drug rationing.A decision to rescind endorsement of the drug would reignite the highly charged debate over US health care reform and how much the state should spend on new and expensive treatments.  Avastin, the world’s best selling cancer drug, is primarily used to treat colon cancer and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2008 for use on women with breast cancer that has spread........The FDA advisory panel has now voted 12-1 to drop the endorsement for breast cancer treatment. The panel unusually cited "effectiveness" grounds for the decision. But it has been claimed that "cost effectiveness" was the real reason ahead of reforms in which the government will extend health insurance to the poorest. If the approval of the drug is revoked then US insurers would be likely to stop paying for Avastin. The Avastin recommendation led to revived allegations that President Barack Obama’s overhaul of the US health care system would mean many would be denied treatments currently available. Read more.......

No comments:

Post a Comment