Bevacizumab: No Survival Benefit for $100,000

How much is a 2 month progression delay, with no survival benefit, worth?

Another study of bevacizumab (Avastin) in Metastatic Breast Cancer :

Median PFS increased from 5.1 to 7.2 months (stratified hazard ratio for PFS (Progression Free Survival), 0.78; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.93; P 􏰁 .0072). The 10% improvement in ORR (Objective Response Rate) between the placebo- and bevacizumab-containing arms (39.5% v 29.6%; P: .0193), although not statistically significant, was consistent with previous trials. There was no statistically significant difference in overall survival.

As noted in the discussion the improvement in ORR is not statistically significant and there is no improvement in survival. This, in a drug, with costs in the $5000- $10,000/month range.

Medicynical Note: The FDA has removed the breast cancer indication for this drug because of lack of objective efficacy. This study confirms their decision.

Medicare, however, as I understand it, continues to pay for it. The big question is why we should have public funds, or pooled insurance money, used to pay for an exceptionally expensive drug that has no survival benefit? In the end we all pay.

It’s no wonder that health care is bankrupting individuals and our non-system of health care.


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