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The cancer drug Avastin has been studied as a treatment for advanced breast and ovarian cancer. Not all women with advanced cancer respond equally to the medication. The FDA has decided that the benefits of Avastin do not outweigh the risks for women with advanced breast cancer and the agency has removed Avastin from the list of approved breast cancer therapies. While FORCE respects the FDA’s decision, we are disappointed with this outcome. There are women with advanced breast cancer for whom Avastin appears to work well. FORCE has prepared a statement in response to the FDA recent ruling.
- FORCE is concerned that this label change will restrict access to the medication for women who are currently on and benefiting from the drug.
- We are concerned that this change will restrict access for women who are newly diagnosed with metastatic breast and ovarian cancer who might benefit from the medication but will not be presented with it as a treatment option.
- Further, we are concerned that insurance companies may use the FDA decision to restrict reimbursement even for those women who are currently on and responding to the medication.
More research needed
More research is needed to better determine which portion of breast cancer patients most benefit from Avastin. The decision of whether or not a woman with stage IV breast cancer should have access to Avastin should be made after discussion and consideration of benefits vs. risks with her health care team.
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