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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

ObamaCare Rationing Begins With Anti-Cancer Drugs

By December, the FDA will likely revoke approval of the drug Avastin for the treatment of advanced breast cancer. ¬†U.S. Senator David Vitter (R) of Louisiana described the anticipated move as “the beginning of a slippery slope leading to more and more rationing under the government takeover of health care,” (Sally C. Pipes, “The Era of Rationing Begins,” Pacific Research Institute, September 27, 2010):

1. The FDA claims its decision won’t be based on cost. However, Avastin is expensive — a full regimen costs about $100,000 a year.

2. Avastin has proven to be a wonder drug for many women with stage IV breast cancer. The drug slows the progression of the disease and dramatically extends life.

3. But when no significant increase in “overall survivability” was reported this summer, an FDA advisory panel recommended that Avastin’s approval be withdrawn.

4. No cancer drug has ever been withdrawn based only on “overall survivability.” ¬†Determination of a drug’s effectiveness have always been based on tumor response and progression-free survival rates.

Avastin is a remarkable anti-cancer agent:

1. In the critical phase III of the study, tumors shrank in nearly 50% of patients on the drug.

2. Patients who received Avastin in conjunction with other chemotherapeutic agents lived almost twice as long as would otherwise be expected without their disease worsening.

3. For some patients on Avastin it means many years of additional life.

However, Government rationing doesn’t stop at Avastin.

1. Medicare coverage for Provenge, a drug for advanced prostate cancer might also be withdrawn.

2. Like Avastin, Provenge is expensive. It costs $93,000 a year.

3. The FDA has already approved Provenge as safe and effective. But Medicare officials are now deciding whether it will pay for the medicine.

So, as indicated above, this is just the beginning. If ObamaCare is not repealed and replaced, distant, faceless bureaucrats will be making all of Americans’ health care decisions in the very near future.

Please link to the Pacific Research Institutes Website for Ms. Pipes article: http://www.pacificresearch.org/press/the-era-of-rationing-begins

One Response to “ObamaCare Rationing Begins With Anti-Cancer Drugs”

  1. DANIEL GARSHMAN Says:

    I BELIEVE MOST THINKING PEOPLE CAN SEE “THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION”, & FRANKLY I FOR ONE ARE FRIGHTENED.
    AS WITH MOST ITEMS WHICH ARE HIGH IN PRICE, INCREASED USE DECREASES THE PRICE. THAT IS NOT A FACTOR IN THE THINKING OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THE EXPENDITURE OF OLDER PEOPLES LIVES FOR THE YOUNGER. CANCER IS MORE PREVALENT AS AGE INCREASE.

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