Provenge costs a total of $93,000 for the full treatment of three infusions so this was no surprise that consideration would be needed before giving a blank check for all participants of Medicare with prostate cancer who would be in a position to require the treatment.  Provenge is used to help extend life of individuals with late imagestage prostate cancer and compared to other treatments is much easier tolerated.  A few months ago I did a post explaining the processes of how the treatment is given. 

Dendreon “Intellivenge” Algorithmic Software Supporting Administration of Provenge – Seeking FDA Approval by May 1st

Blood is taken and then sent to the Dendreon facility and incubated and returned back to the doctor/patient for 3 injections.  This is a new class of drug.  Completion of the analysis from CMS is expected by the end of June 2011 so there’s a year’s wait before a decision is made.  BD 

SEATTLE, June 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dendreon Corporation (Nasdaq: DNDN) announced that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today initiated a National Coverage Analysis (NCA) of PROVENGE® (sipuleucel-T), an autologous cellular immunotherapy for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic, castrate-resistant (hormone-refractory) prostate cancer (CRPC). PROVENGE is the first in a new therapeutic class known as autologous cellular immunotherapies.

In CMS's announcement of the NCA, CMS is requesting public comments on the effects of PROVENGE on health outcomes in patients with prostate cancer.  It is not a change in Medicare coverage policy. 

Dendreon Statement on CMS National Coverage Analysis -- SEATTLE, June 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --


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