Skip to comments.FDA's Avastin decision is a breast cancer patient's worst nightmare
Posted on 12/26/2010 6:40:22 PM PST by gusopol3
ronically, the exact same day the FDA revoked Avastin's approval, its counterpart across the Atlantic did the opposite. The European Union's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use had conducted a similar investigation into Avastin in breast cancer treatment...
Genentech, Avastin's developer, spent some $2.3 billion creating this treatment. In reaction to this decision, other drug firms will be less likely to make the investments required for research into advanced drugs.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...
This is exactly the way this administration will ration. They will 1) slow the approval or prevent the approval of new treatments that could increase medical expenses, and 2) shift research funding from basic science to ‘outcomes’ statistical research, and ‘health care delivery’ research.
Then they could use all that money they confiscated in the name of health care on more important things!
The FDA should be abolished.
All of its useful functions can be performed better by the free market.
And yet on TV we hear these poignant ads about trying to cure this disease and that disease showing pathetic kids with that particular disease. Why should pharmaceutical companies invest billions to try to find a cure when the FDA comes around later to stop it.
“This is what a death panel is all about, in my opinion”
Should cost be part of medical decisions?
Sure. But, as I see it, the relevant question here is whether the cost/benefit decision should be made on behalf of all individuals by a small group of government bureaucrats.
Cost-effectiveness always has been to some degree, but if it costs 2.4 billion to develop a drug, how else are you going to get medical improvements but to spread the cost through insurance?
“Should cost be part of medical decisions?”
Between a doctor and a patient,,but this is the FDA deciding it’s too expensive to be used. Their only scope should be to clearly know it’s effects. It isn’t their place to decide price.
“Sure. But, as I see it, the relevant question here is whether the cost/benefit decision should be made on behalf of all individuals by a small group of government bureaucrats.”
Who pays, and is the cost relevant? That is really the question.
Hammer, meet Nail. It floors me to think that some so-called "conservatives" here on FR seemingly back Obama's DEATH PANELS in the name of "cost benefit" analysis or some goofy "actuarial" mumbo-jumbo.
Obama Death Panels by any other name are still Obama Death Panels.
“how else are you going to get medical improvements but to spread the cost through insurance?”
Insurance isn’t for new, expensive treatments.
I assume you're alluding to a system of third-party payers (including insurance companies and/or the government) where the cost becomes relevant to more than the individual receiving the benefit?
If so, as you suggest, decisions like these are the inevitable result of government involvement as a payer of healthcare costs. And the further result of this decision can be nothing other then to have a chilling effect on further innovation within the lifescience sector.
I suppose the next question is, what then is the answer? In my opinion, policy should be to more directly align the cost and benefit received. Reintroduce the free market into this space.
“Their only scope should be to clearly know its effects. It isnt their place to decide price.”
I agree. This is being used as a bureaucratic tool to deny patients who may get a few months of extra life.
But the question still stands - is cost relevant, especially if the patient is unable or unwilling to pay for it themselves? If you really wanted it, you can fly to Europe and get it - but you’d have to pay for it.
So is cost relevant to treatments available to patients?
“I assume you’re alluding to a system of third-party payers (including insurance companies and/or the government) where the cost becomes relevant to more than the individual receiving the benefit? “
I am wondering about both. Can insurance companies provide coverage for treatments that reach $100k per year to extend life a few months and still provide affordable coverage? Also, if the individual receiving the drug had to pay for it, would they?
I think most of the argument is actually financial, rather than medical. The result may be the same - treatment denied, but it’s not the same as a death panel - where treatment may be given to one, but not another.
“I suppose the next question is, what then is the answer? In my opinion, policy should be to more directly align the cost and benefit received. Reintroduce the free market into this space.”
I suppose if it is not a dangerous treatment, and someone was willing to pay for it, it should be made available. Since the FDA realizes that “the rich” would pay for it they are reacting to a defacto socialist mandate - if everybody can’t have it, for whatever reason, nobody can have it.
Granted, that has no direct bearing on expensive treatments such as Avastin. But I do believe that the free market will sort that out in the form of various insurance plans based on what an individual would like to have covered. No system is perfect, but this FDA decision is the obvious end result of allowing government to pay healthcare costs.
The result may be the same - treatment denied, but its not the same as a death panel - where treatment may be given to one, but not another.
It's a good point. From a practical standpoint, the end result may not differ in more than a very few cases. That said (call me an absolutist), if an individual or the market makes that decision it's totally different than when the government makes it. I suspect we agree on that as well.
If Avastin were for AIDS, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
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