I have posted about this controversy before - first Avastin was approved for breast cancer therapy by the FDA, and then the process of withdrawing approval was begun.
Because it's used for treating other cancers, it is still available; but medicare and private insurers will not pay for it for breast cancer without the FDA ok.
For some women, Avastin extends life; for many women who are on it, while not extending their lives, if does greatly improve the quality of their last few months.
Here's an excellent op ed from yesterday's Wall Street Journal -
Patient advocates and thousands of women who credit their survival to Avastin argue that it's unfair for the FDA to remove one of the few available options for patients diagnosed with terminal cancer. They're right.
When well-known scientist Stephen Jay Gould was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer in July 1982, he was told the diagnosis meant a median survival time of just eight months. His doctor gave up on him. But he lived another 20 years.
"Means and medians are the abstractions," he wrote in Discover magazine in 1985. "Therefore, I looked at the mesothelioma statistics quite differently—and not only because I am an optimist . . . but primarily because I know that variation itself is the reality."
Hey, how about letting doctors and patients decide?