As an Ovarian Cancer survivor, I tried in vain to convince my liberal friends that Obamacare will make it more difficult for cancer patients to receive access to new drugs and treatments. Why would we want to install a UK or Canadian healthcare style system when their survival rates are so much lower than ours, I would ask? I'm not one to say I told ya so but I recently received two alarming emails from the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, OCNA. I received the first email shortly after Donald Berwick was installed as Obama's controversial Head of Medicare.
Provenge, a vaccine to treat the recurrence of prostate cancer, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The vaccine is made from a patient's own blood cells with cancer cells and an immune boosting substance. ... However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is still reviewing whether it will cover Provenge, and at what rate.
... with respect to Provenge, it appears that CMS is arguing that while the treatment is safe and effective, it may not be reasonable and necessary. For the first time, an FDA approved anti-cancer therapy may not be covered by Medicare.
And today I received this email:
The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) and Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R) today urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to continue to allow the use of the drug bevacizumab, commonly known as Avastin, for metastatic breast cancer patients, noting that it is effective for many individuals. ...
OCNA is concerned that an FDA label change will further restrict access to Avastin for ovarian cancer patients. Many women with ovarian cancer are receiving and benefitting from Avastin, although its use for ovarian cancer is "off label." These women face another worry: Medicare has already rejected some requests for Avastin, one of the world's most expensive but widely used cancer drugs. OCNA argues that Medicare and its contractors should pay for anti-cancer drugs that are listed on the approved compendia for Avastin.