Friday, December 17, 2010

FDA Revokes Avastin

Once again a drug approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has later been proven to not be worth the risk. This time the FDA even pulled its approval of Avastin for treating breast cancer. Later studies showed the drug to be unsafe. There were "significant" increases in serious side effects with the drugs use including blood clots, bleeding and even heart failure.

Avastin is the world's best-selling cancer drug with global sales of $5.8 billion making it the top product for Roche. The drug is used to treat more than 17,000 breast cancer patients every year. It can still be used to treat tumors in the colon, lung, kidney and brain. Doctors could even continue to use it for breast cancer by using it "off-label" even though the FDA recommends against it. Avastin is also one of the most expensive cancer drugs in the world. It costs a patient (or their insurance company) about $8,000 PER MONTH for treatment.

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