And So Begins the Rationing of Health Care

by Sal on August 17, 2010

in Bioethics,Health Care,Politics

Leave it to the Brits to tackle a story that we missed.  Of course, the Brits have 50+ years of experience in this area, so they should know the warning signs.  I’m talking specifically about Nationalized Health Care.  The story, out of the UK Telegraph, recounts how, after a couple of studies that showed a specific Breast Cancer drug to not be as effective as originally thought (in contrast to the dozens of studies and clinical trials that showed it to be effective), the FDA has decided to remove it from the market.  The drug, Avastin, is one of the leading drugs for severe forms of cancer.  It is most often used for Colon cancer, but also used for Breast Cancer.  The FDA had approved it for Breast Cancer several years ago after studies showed a positive impact.

The problem with Avastin is its cost, at approximately $8,000 / month.  Nearly 20,000 women with severe breast cancer benefit from this drug a year, and it has shown the ability to prolong their lives.  The FDA’s move was rather unprecedented, not just for the fact that they removed the drug as an on-label use for Breast Cancer, but because of the reason they removed it, which is Cost Effectiveness.  This is something the Brits are used to from their National Institute of Health, but not something that Americans are used to.  The FDA has historically not removed drugs once approved unless a safety issue is involved.  Decisions such as this are likely to be more common as ObamaCare is phased in.  Sarah Palin’s prediction of “Death Panels” is starting to look rather prophetic, isn’t it?

Image via Michelle Malkin

H/T: MrsSal

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