Avastin is just one story about all the cancer drugs on the market, expensive, yes and how it it reimbursed varies too.  It is not always a slam dunk and has been shown to extend life and additional research is still in the works between Roche and Genentech. 

Are we expecting too much at times from the young market here?  The drug does one thing in the fact that it stops the progression of growth for tumors, but again you come back to every individual and the type, size etc. of the tumor, but doctors are not waiting for an air tight statistical study to prescribe if they feel it benefits the patient, and who wouldn’t for that matter, thus the fine line sometimes between enough evidence based information and trial and some pending approvals from the FDA on use continues to be a gray matter and it is still pretty expensive.  BD  

Medicare requires that the doctor or hospital buying Avastin be paid an amount equal to Genentech’s average selling price plus a markup of 5 to 6 percent. Of that amount, Medicare pays 80 percent and the patient pays 20 percent. Doctors and hospitals typically do not make much money on Avastin for Medicare patients, and can even lose money if they buy the drug at a price that is higher than average. But patients can end up paying thousands of dollars a month. Some have supplemental insurance to take care of it; others do not.

The Evidence Gap - In Cost Cancer Drug Avastin, Hope and a Dilemma - Series - NYTimes.com


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