Komen for Avastin

Last week, we wrote about the FDA's changed recommendation for using the injectable drug Avastin in treatment of breast cancer. 

Quite soon after the FDA released its new conclusions, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation sent out a very interesting letter to its supporters. We support Komen's stance. Below, some excerpts:

...We know that for some number of women, Avastin works and works well.  We are hearing from women who are gaining not just months, but years, with a high quality of life, from this treatment. This decision puts insurance coverage for Avastin for these women at serious risk, leaving them with no options. The entire Komen family must join together to speak with one voice as patient advocates on behalf of those women who do in fact benefit from its use.  We simply cannot leave them and their families with no recourse. And we don’t intend to.
...Our mission now is three-fold: to ensure that women have access to the drug, that insurance coverage for Avastin remains in place for women who are already benefitting, and encourage the development of biomarkers to determine who will benefit most effectively from the drug.
To those ends, Komen is asking the manufacturer to continue including Avastin in its patient access programs that provide drugs at low or no cost to individuals. We are also asking insurance companies and public payers to continue covering the drug for the women who are benefiting. And we are encouraging the manufacturer to step up biomarker research so the drug can be targeted to patients who will benefit.
We are advocating for these women because this is central to our promise – to deliver the cures, and to protect everyone in our Komen family...

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