In two months the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will review the appeal by Genentech to retain Avastin® (bevacizumab) as an approved treatment for metastatic breast cancer. One of the issues facing patients either currently receiving Avastin or being considered for treatment with Avastin after other drugs in their line of treatment have failed is whether Medicare will continue paying for treatment.
Earlier this year, the company that contracts with Medicare for payment of treatment in California, Hawaii, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina and West Virginia had stated that it would suspend payment for Avastin pending the FDA’s upcoming hearing June 28-29, 2011. It then revoked that decision, stating that it would pay for treatment of metastatic breast cancer with Avastin pending the outcome of the hearing.
Until the hearing a lot of women with MBC will be receiving Avastin and oncologists will continue to recommend treatment for patients whose other treatments have failed. For anyone interested in speaking with Genentech about personal stories about their successful treatment with Avastin, contact a representative at their Patient Resource Center directly.
Note that the treatment approval for Avastin pertains only to metastatic breast cancer and that Avastin as an FDA-approved treatment for colorectal, kidney and lung cancers remains.
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