Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Breast Cancer Drug Avastin - #2511 - FDA's Avastin Decision is a Breast Cancer Patient's Worst Nightmare - Washington Examiner

This is an article every woman should read and pass on, this could be the beginning of many drugs taken off the market for cost reasons only.....end-of-life decisions, AW.  On Dec. 16, the Food and Drug Administration made a decision that could cause thousands of breast cancer patients to lose their last hope. That day, FDA officials voted to revoke approval for Avastin for the treatment of late-stage breast cancer.  This move is a disgrace.  Avastin reduces blood flow to tumors, allowing it to halt the spread of breast cancer in some patients. In one clinical trial, 52 percent of Avastin users saw their tumors stop growing or spreading to other parts of their bodies.  In most other breast cancer patients, Avastin acts as a pause button, temporarily sparing women from deteriorating further. On average, Avastin extends life by a few months. However, some "super responders" react especially well and enjoy additional years.  FDA bureaucrats know this but ignored the evidence. The FDA stated this month that Avastin does not offer "a sufficient benefit in slowing disease progression to outweigh the significant risk to patients."  How could the FDA come to such a conclusion? The agency was likely influenced by Avastin's cost. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers typically pick up a substantial slice of the tab for Avastin, and an annual regimen costs upwards of $90,000.  But for many of the 17,500 American women prescribed Avastin every year, those dollars translate into a substantial amount of extra life -- days and months they wouldn't have had to spend with their friends and families.  Read more........  Article contributed by Steve Peters.

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