« The Histamine Code, You Say? |
| Innovation and Return (Europe vs. the US) »
July 1, 2011
Avastin and Medicare
So, the FDA's advisors voted unanimously to remove Avastin's indication for metastatic breast cancer. Fine. But Medicare is saying that they'll continue to cover it? Really?
Now, as opposed to the other day, we're starting to talk about cost. Avastin is (famously) not cheap, and insurance companies often don't want to reimburse for off-label use of drugs. But if Medicare, well, doesn't care, then what? A number of insurance companies take their policies into account for their own coverage recommendations.
So this makes a person wonder what all the arguing over this issue has accomplished. Perhaps fewer oncologists will be willing to write off-label prescriptions after the FDA makes its call - there is that. But (on the one hand) this isn't looking quite like the consigning-people-to-death outcome that patient advocates were warning about. It also gives you an insight into health care costs, doesn't it? The FDA says "We don't recommend you use this. The clinical trial data don't support it." And Medicare says "Well, yeah, sure, but we'll pay for it, so what the hey". What, indeed, the hey?
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Cancer | Drug Prices | Regulatory Affairs
POST A COMMENT
- RELATED ENTRIES
- Merck's Aftermath
- Models and Reality
- Rewriting History at the Smithsonian?
- The FDA: Too Loose, Or Appropriately Brave?
- More Magic Methyls, Please
- Totaling Up a Job Search
- Humble Enzyme Dodges Spotlight
- Unraveling An Off-Rate