An estimated 200,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2010, according to the National Cancer Institute. While only a fraction of these cases will ever become eligible for treatment with Provenge, the potential burden on Medicare funds is sizable.
Currently, Medicare is not allowed to deny a treatment based on cost alone, but in the coming years, "it will be difficult to sustain coverage of these very costly procedures considering the Medicare program is facing a huge long-term deficit," David Howard, assistant professor in the department of Health Policy and Management at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health, says.
"Ten years, 20 years down the road, Congress is going to have to rewrite the law to allow cost to play into coverage decisions."
UHOH. Congress will decide? And, this drug may also be effective for BREAST CANCER.
CAN we put a price on life? Can we pay these huge prices for four months more life?
WHAT DO YOU THINK? It's a HUGE topic and I hope we can get some good input here..thanks.