Medicare Will Still Cover Avastin For Breast Cancer, Despite Revocation Of FDA Approval
The FDA announced that Avastin, while still approved for other cancers, is more harmful than helpful to breast cancer patients.
The Associated Press: FDA Revokes Approval Of Avastin For Breast Cancer
The government delivered a blow to some desperate patients Friday as it ruled the blockbuster drug Avastin should no longer be used to treat advanced breast cancer... However, "Medicare will continue to cover Avastin," said Brian Cook, spokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The agency "will monitor the issue and evaluate coverage options as a result of action by the FDA but has no immediate plans to change coverage policies" (Neergaard, 11/18).
Reuters: Medicare To Still Cover Avastin For Breast Cancer
The statement from the U.S. healthcare program could mitigate concerns that patients using the drug would lose insurance coverage should the FDA revoke approval for its use in breast cancer (11/18).
Bloomberg: Roche's Avastin Revoked For Use In Breast Cancer, FDA Says
Avastin, with $6.2 billion in 2010 sales, didn't extend patients' lives and triggered serious side effects including high blood pressure and bleeding when used to attack the disease, said Commissioner Margaret Hamburg of the Food and Drug Administration in a statement today. The drug remains approved for colon, lung, kidney and brain cancer. ... While Roche doesn't plan to appeal the decision, it will continue a study seeking to identify breast cancer patients who would benefit most from Avastin, said Charlotte Arnold, a company spokeswoman (Edney, 11/21).
The Washington Post: FDA Revokes Avastin's Approval For Breast Cancer Treatment
The case has triggered strong reactions from advocates of easier access to new treatments and from critics fearing health-care rationing. It is also being seen as one of the most visible medical examples of scientific evidence winning out over an animated public outcry. ... Avastin costs about $99,000 a year per patient (Stein, 11/18).
Friday afternoon's summary of Avastin coverage: FDA Revokes Approval Of Avastin For Breast Cancer.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.