“Dendreon shares are down today on the heels of news that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will undergo a lengthy review of whether or not Provenge “is reasonable and necessary under sections 1862(a)(1)(A) and/or 1862(a)(1)(E) of the Social Security Act” and should be reimbursed by Medicare.
Most analysts believe that Medicare will ultimately agree to pay for Provenge, because it’s FDA-approved, and it was shown to extend survival by 4 months in clinical trials.”
Meantime the UK’s Telegraph reports:
Kidney cancer patients denied drug that can extend their lives
Kidney cancer patients will not be allowed a new drug that could extend their lives by up to three months because it is too expensive, the NHS drug rationing body has said.
Four months added survival for one drug – and questions are raised about why the U.S. is even reviewing the drug.
Three months added survival for another drug – and the British National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence says the drug does not offer enough benefit to patients to justify the cost.
I wish we’d see more comparisons like this in American journalism. Both headlines – both stories – were right out there for anyone to see this week. The irony was unavoidable.