Thursday, March 31, 2011

Prostate v Breast : A Cancer Decision

Medicare has announced today that it will cover the $93,000 cost for men who suffer from advanced stage, incurable prostate cancer. The new drug, Provenge, is said to extend the lives of these patients by four months.

WASHINGTON – Medicare officials said Wednesday that the program will pay the $93,000 cost of prostate cancer drug Provenge, an innovative therapy that typically gives men suffering from an incurable stage of the disease an extra four months to live.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid said the biotech drug made by Dendreon Corp. is a "reasonable and necessary" medicine. The decision ensures that millions of men would be able to afford the drug through the government-backed health care coverage.

Women with advanced stage breast cancer are being denied Avastin, a lifesaving drug, by Medicare and many other insurance carriers because the FDA has declared  it is ineffective in treating late-stage breast cancer and only offers a few extra months of survival which does not outweigh the cost and risk of the drug.
Avastin delayed the worsening of the cancer by only one to three months, according to the FDA decision rescinding its approval for breast cancer.

The Verdict

Prostate cancer drug prolongs a man's life for four months: covered. Breast cancer drug prolongs a woman's life for three months: denied.

1 comment:

silvergirl said...

And we can assume that a bunch of men made this decision? Don't get me started!