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Avastin: Reaction is sharp to FDA's steps to revoke approval as breast cancer treatment

December 17, 2010|By Mary Forgione, For the Los Angeles Times
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The Food and Drug Administration took steps Thursday to withdraw its approval for use of Avastin as a breast cancer drug after citing clinical trials that failed to show that Avastin prolonged life among breast cancer patients. The decision drew sharp and quick reactions.

This Los Angeles Times story reports: "One of those opponents, Sen. David Vitter (R- Louisiana), noted that if the FDA removed its imprimatur, Avastin, which costs thousands of dollars per month, would only be available through so-called "off-label" prescribing and thus not covered by most insurance."

Other organizations also have weighed in. This Susan G. Komen for the Cure statement encourages continued treatment for women who benefit from the drug. And here's a commentary, "The Fatal Move From the FDA,” written by Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute.

Drugmaker Genentech has responded to the FDA letter with a statement and a video.

This isn't the first setback for Avastin this month. Britain's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence rejected the drug as a treatment for advanced breast cancer. Here's the full story.

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