Saturday, August 21, 2010

Breast Cancer: How Politics Is Driving Up Costs - Kaiser Health News

Kaiser Family Foundation weighs in on the side of the FDA on its recent decision to remove approval for use of Avastin in metastatic breast cancer. The drug received fast track approval a few years ago with no final data on its long-term effectiveness for treating breast cancer. Two recent studies have provided evidence that Avastin doesn't improve survival for patients. The cost of the drug averages $8,000 per month and has some negative side effects for patients, including vomiting, stomach pains and high blood pressure. Given the latest data, the FDA decision, made by a panel of experts not tied to the drug industry, is the right one.

Unfortunately, a group led by the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (Race for the Cure) have taken the opportunity to use the decision to criticize the FDA and reject the evidence from two high quality clinical trials. They've wrongly accused the FDA of making the decision for economic reasons and have attempted to politicize the situation. Komen and others have used the opportunity to criticize health care reform and attempts to control rising health care costs. Their pressure on legislators to overturn the decision is wrong.

NOBCCF has signed a letter with other breast cancer advocacy groups supporting the FDA's decision.

Below is a link to the Kaiser Foundation news article, its worth reading

Breast Cancer: How Politics Is Driving Up Costs - Kaiser Health News

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