Medicare To Cover 2 Expensive Cancer Drugs
Federal program will pay for Avastin for breast cancer and Provenge for prostate cancer.
The New York Times: Medicare Will Continue To Cover 2 Expensive Cancer Drugs
Medicare confirmed on Thursday that it would continue to pay for two expensive cancer drugs that had been at the center of debate - Avastin from Genentech for breast cancer and Provenge from Dendreon for prostate cancer (Pollack, 6/30).
The Wall Street Journal: Medicare To Cover Drug For Prostate Cancer
The federal Medicare agency said it approved nationwide coverage of the Dendreon Corp. medicine Provenge in certain prostate-cancer cases, concluding a lengthy review that generated protests from Provenge supporters and controversy over the treatment's lofty price tag. The Medicare agency, known as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said Thursday that evidence is "adequate" to approve the immunotherapy regimen, which costs about $93,000 for a course of treatment (Burton, 7/1).
The Washington Post: Medicare Agrees To Pay For Provenge For Prostate Cancer
The federal government's insurance program for the elderly Thursday officially agreed to pay for Provenge, an expensive new "vaccine" to treat prostate cancer. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a final decision to immediately start covering Provenge, which costs $93,000 a patient. The announcement confirms what the agency had said it planned to do in March (Stein, 6/30).
The Associated Press: Medicare Confirms Payment For Prostate Cancer Drug
Medicare officials confirmed Thursday that the program will cover the $93,000 price tag for 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 decision from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid essentially reiterates an earlier proposed ruling that the biotech drug, made by Dendreon Corp., is a "reasonable and necessary" medicine. As expected, the government will cover the cost for men who meet the drug's approved criteria: those with prostate disease that has spread throughout the body and has not responded to hormone therapy or radiation. The government will not pay for alternate, or so called "off-label," use (Perrone, 7/1).
Reuters/Los Angeles Times: Medicare Will Keep Covering Roche's Avastin
Medicare will continue paying for Roche Holding's drug Avastin for breast cancer, regardless of what health regulators decide about the medicine's future, a spokesman said on Thursday. The statement from the U.S. health care program could mitigate concerns that patients using the drug would lose insurance coverage should the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revoke approval for its use in breast cancer (Yukhananov and Selyukh, 6/30).
National Journal: Medicare To Keep Paying For Controversial Cancer Drug Avastin
Medicare will keep paying for patients to receive Avastin to treat breast cancer even if the Food and Drug Administration rescinds approval, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said on Thursday. "The FDA decision, when it comes, does not affect CMS," spokesman Don McLeod told Reuters (6/30).
NPR: Europeans Back Broader Use Of Avastin For Breast Cancer
The day after a panel of experts advised the Food and Drug Administration to go ahead with plans to revoke approval of Avastin to treat breast cancer, European authorities moved in the opposite direction. The European Commission gave the OK to an expansion of Avastin's approval to include using the drug in combination with Xeloda, a chemotherapy drug, to treat metastatic breast cancer, Genentech parent company Roche said Thursday (Hensley, 6/30).