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View Full Version : Death Panel Debate: It's Time to Get Outraged



LWW
07-06-2011, 10:07 AM
From the reich wing USAToday:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">A recent Food and Drug Administration advisory committee meeting led to much debate about the use of Avastin for breast cancer. <span style='font-size: 11pt'>The debate is not about whether Avastin significantly prolongs the time women live without their breast cancer worsening; it clearly did in three clinical trials with 2,400 women. The debate is whether Avastin works well enough to continue to be a choice for women are the results clinically meaningful, and who should decide?</span>

OUR VIEW: Let science guide policy on costly breast cancer treatments

The 29,000 women diagnosed each year in the U.S. with metastatic breast cancer will not be cured with today's medicines; many will spend the rest of their lives moving from one treatment to the next. Their options are limited: Only one other first-line treatment has been approved by the FDA in the past decade.

Like other treatments used in metastatic breast cancer, which will claim 40,000 lives this year, Avastin results in an incremental improvement, not a cure, and it has serious risks that must be considered. We don't have data showing it prolongs survival. <span style='font-size: 11pt'>However, doctors and patients recognize that some women greatly benefit from Avastin.</span>

There is no question we need better therapies for people fighting cancer, and this will take significant investments in research and development. An October 2009 report by consulting firm Booz & Co. noted that Roche, our parent company, is among the top three R&D spenders in the world. Roche spent approximately $9.1 billion on R&D in 2009.

<span style='font-size: 11pt'>The American Cancer Society cites premature death and disability from cancer as the "single largest drain on national economies compared to other causes of death." Yet cancer medicines account for less than 1% of total health care spending in this country.</span>

Curing cancer isn't easy and won't happen overnight. Collaboration is needed among industry, academia, government and payers. Ultimately, we believe treatment decisions should be made between doctors and their patients. <span style='font-size: 14pt'>For women with metastatic breast cancer, we believe Avastin should be part of that discussion. While it may not be the right medicine for everyone, it should be an option for every woman facing this disease.</span></div></div>

Let the denials begin! (http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2010-08-24-editorial24_ST1_N.htm)

By decertifying AVASTIN to save the gubmint money, it has an even more heinous effect than a death panel putting a dollar figure on human life ... it effectively bans separate private insurance, or even using the patients own money, to pay for the treatment.

Soflasnapper
07-06-2011, 02:37 PM
Great source you got there, LWW. The two authors? Hal Barron is executive vice president of product development and chief medical officer of Genentech/Roche. Ian Clark is chief executive officer of Genentech. Genentech? Genentech MAKES AVASTIN.

I know when I want an objective take on something, I can rely on the company that makes the product and charges $80k for it to give me strictly accurate and complete information.

The FDA does not make drug approvals based on the cost of drugs. This is not any part of the new health care program, but an ordinary FDA process. It was based on the fact that later tests did not confirm the initial findings, further spreading of these metastatic breast cancers was held back less than a month, any benefit required the use of two other chemotherapy agents, and there were significant side effects.

The FDA had granted conditional approval for its use in these situations, based on the early tests, pending further tests. Those have not shown the same, or any, good results.

This was all discussed on this forum at the time, but sadly you have evidently forgotten all those details.

Here's a current article as a reminder (http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/biotech/2011/06/genentech-avastin-cancer-fda.html)

LWW
07-07-2011, 02:31 AM
IOW ... just because we have a state panel deciding life and death doesn't make it a death panel?

I could have written your response for you and saved you the trouble.

Soflasnapper
07-07-2011, 11:41 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LWW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">IOW ... just because we have a state panel deciding life and death doesn't make it a death panel?

I could have written your response for you and saved you the trouble. </div></div>

There is no life and death in question here, only death, and no significant staying of said death.

The conditional approval was based on the initial testing showing the gain of some 5 months of life without further metastacizing of the cancer, which was considered of value in increasing quality of life (although the patients were still dying, and the cancer would still spread a bit later). Later test showed this was less than a month, and still required the two chemo agents to accomplish it (and what wasn't said is that these two chemo agents DID THE SAME THING WITHOUT THE AVASTIN.)

If this were a life-saving treatment, there would be no question of its approval. In fact, if all it did was what the first testing showed-- gain a respite of just 5 months of further spread (until it again spread and killed them)-- it ALSO would have been approved upon review.

That it did neither is why the conditional approval was rescinded, and no one is dying where they wouldn't before, or even dying more quickly.

The drug is continued to be approved in other metastatic cancer treatment, legal to prescribe by any licensed physician for whatever they want to prescribe it for, so anyone wanting to get it for this purpose can get it. It hasn't been withdrawn from the market.

If the issue is getting it paid for, at about $6,500 a month, that is an issue of previously existing death panel-like PRIVATE INSURANCE. Which has been here all along without anyone hardly uttering a peep in protest.

LWW
07-08-2011, 03:54 AM
IOW ... just because we have a state panel deciding life and death doesn't make it a death panel?

I could have written your response for you and saved you the trouble.

LWW
07-08-2011, 03:57 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If the issue is getting it paid for, at about $6,500 a month, that is an issue of previously existing death panel-like PRIVATE INSURANCE. Which has been here all along without anyone hardly uttering a peep in protest. </div></div>

That's at least a C- Alinsky effort ... you were able to send up some smoke for the death panel to hide behind, and create a straw man to hang blame on.

Sadly, thinking people see through the smoke and realize the reality that insurance companies can no longer include this product, period, in their covered drugs list ... in spite of many having done so in the past.

Furthermore, a private individual can now no longer even pay for it from their own pocket ... all in the name of saving your beloved state a few shekels.