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mr bill
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 697
   Posted 11/17/2010 6:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Did anyone see CBS news story on Provenge tonight?  Unsure if Medicare is going to pay the $93,000 per patient. 
Newscaster says most insurance companies follow what Medicare does. Also said more info. available at WebMD under prostate cancer.
 
I did see the news, says men are lining up for treatment, especially advanced cases. Just wondering how others felt.
 
Mr Bill

Fairwind
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3782
   Posted 11/17/2010 11:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't think the taxpayers should be asked to pay for treatment that extends the life of terminal cancer patients by 3 or 4 months...Not $93,000.

There are several drugs in the pipeline that do the same thing and have been labeled "miracle" drugs.. The cost for these has not been announced.

I feel these treatments and drugs should be kept in the experimental category and development continued if promising. This development should be directed at improving effectiveness and / or reducing cost...

Please,,,Don't accuse me of playing God...The drug companies are the ones playing God..You can only hold the Grim Reaper at bay for so long...

Think about this..On average, 90% of a persons total lifetime health-care cost occurs during the last year of their lives..If we were willing to donate that last year of misery, we could reduce our nations health care costs by 90%....

Are there any clinical trials that use Provenge much earlier, BEFORE the cancer has metastasized? This is where it might REALLY do some good when the number of target cells is much, much smaller..

Post Edited (Fairwind) : 11/17/2010 9:20:51 PM (GMT-7)


F8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 3836
   Posted 11/18/2010 12:32 AM (GMT -6)   
>>Think about this..On average, 90% of a persons total lifetime health-care cost occurs during the last year of their lives..If we were willing to donate that last year of misery, we could reduce our nations health care costs by 90%....<<
 
health care isn't what got us into this mess, tho some would like you to believe that. 
 
ed
 


 
age: 55
PSA on 12/09: 6.8
no symptoms, no prostate enlargement
12/12 cores positive....gleason 3+4 = 7
HT, BT and IGRT
received 3rd and last lupron shot 9/14/10

Fairwind
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3782
   Posted 11/18/2010 1:38 AM (GMT -6)   
"health care isn't what got us into this mess, tho some would like you to believe that. "

Very, very true...

mr bill
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 697
   Posted 11/18/2010 7:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I was just wondering if anyone has had any experience with the drug or knows anything about it?

BobCape
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 416
   Posted 11/18/2010 9:20 AM (GMT -6)   
H Mr Bill.
You can get the clinical answer to your question using Google "news" or set an update to be emailed news & info on Provenge as often as info happens, also using Google.

You did suggest you wanted to know how others felt. We know the basic result of Provenge is about 4 added months for those who are really bad. When you've got no months, 4 certainly looks appealing. It's a 1 time shot too.. cant go and order 4 more months of life.

I believe that the bigger news or excitement about the drug is that it was able to increase survival by ANY amount. So that we may learn how to extend that benefit to years.. or better.

Personally, while I want them to continue studying the drug (and others), I think that $93,000+ for a 4 month benefit is asking too much from society.

If we extended EVERY pca patient's life by 4 months it would costs $93,000+ x 30,000 looks to be about 3 billion. That is more than we spend a year on PCA research. I'd rather they save the 3 billion and work on extending lives ON THIS SIDE OF THE EQUATION.

Which brought me to an interesting assessment:

http://www.brokencountry.com/index.php/2006/10/23/cancer-statistics-and-money-spent-searching-for-a-cure/

According to the American Cancer Society There are 205,000 new cases of breast cancer discovered each year with an annual death rate of about 40,000. The ACS also states that 190,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer each year with a death rate of about 34,000 each year.

The difference in numbers is very small when you consider how many people live in America. Yet the amount of money spent on research to find a cure for breast cancer is almost 50 times more money than prostate cancer. Last year the federal government directly and indirectly spent close to 11 billion dollars on breast cancer, while spending a paltry 2 billion dollars on prostate cancer. Niether of these figures includes any public donations.

F8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 3836
   Posted 11/18/2010 11:09 AM (GMT -6)   
 
in answer to the OP provenge is a new drug so you probably need to broaden your search.  i know if i ever need the drug and my insurance will pay for it i'm not making any altruistic sacrifice cool . you could probably make the argument that i am getting the best care now with no copays and that burdens the system.  my wife is a teacher, works a lot of hours and her pay isn't that great but we really see the benefits now.
 
ed
 
 
age: 55
PSA on 12/09: 6.8
no symptoms, no prostate enlargement
12/12 cores positive....gleason 3+4 = 7
HT, BT and IGRT
received 3rd and last lupron shot 9/14/10

Post Edited (F8) : 11/18/2010 9:12:11 AM (GMT-7)


John T
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4237
   Posted 11/18/2010 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Extending life for 4 months is a big deal in advanced cancers. This is an average; some patients don't respond at all and some respond very well and add many years to their lives.
What is a crime is that provenge was shown to have significant potential as early as 2003 and we are just seeing it approved 7 years later and only for advanced cancers. We don't know how it would affect earlier stage PC.
The time and cost to get a new drug approved is too costly to us patients. The same thing happened to Combidex, a proven scan to detect micromets. The manufacturer stopped producing the imaging agent because of the cost of trials and we the patients have lost.
Patients should be allowed to use proven experimental drugs as long as they are fully aware of the dangers. To hold Provenge off the market for 8 years surely hurt some patients that could have benefited. There is a whole chapter on the fall of Combidex in "Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers"
Much of the cost of drugs is the time and cost of getting an approval. There aren't too many companies that are willing to make an investment and fund 10 years of trials for an approval that may only be approved for a small segment of the disease (very advanced PC patients).
I have mixed feelings about goverment funding all drugs regardless of their cost. This is great in theory and fairness but for practical matters we just can't afford it.
JT
65 years old, rising psa for 10 years from 4 to 40; 12 biopsies and MRIS all negative. Oct 2009 DXed with G6 <5%. Color Doppler biopsy found 2.5 cm G4+3. Combidex clear. Seeds and IMRT, no side affects and psa .1 at 1.5 years.

mr bill
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 697
   Posted 11/18/2010 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree. It just takes to long to have a treatment approved. A man from my home town came up with a system that actually fries the cancer cells with radiowaves. It is only in the trial on animals stage, but there is great potential. Unfortunately, the man came up with the idea died of lukemia before his theory came to fruition. He was not even an MD but had a great deal of experience in radiowave.

As a biproduct of the research he was able to modify the makeup of salt water with the device, and make it burn. Wonder what the oil companies will do with that?

http://www.kanziuscancerresearch.org/
Age 66
BPH since 1996. at least three negative biopsies Erie. Uro did not prescribe finasteride
2007 acute urine retention photoselective vaporize Clev. Clinic
8-9-10 PSA rose to 10.14 with finasteride positive biopsy Cleveland gleason 9, cat & bone scan negative
9-8-10 Robotic prostatectomy at Cleveland. Biopsy 9 nodes, 2 positive,seminal & vas deferens
PSA 3 wk .06, 6 wk <.03

Fairwind
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3782
   Posted 11/18/2010 1:03 PM (GMT -6)   
John brings up an excellent point..This small, politically impotent company was put through the wringer with Provenge and it almost bankrupted them..Same thing happened with Combidex, the small company could not afford to press on after they botched a critical presentation before the all-powerful FDA..

Promising drugs, especially those aimed at people with terminal illnesses, should be fast-tracked as soon as it's proven they may be effective and are not outright poisons..

As a sidebar, the four gene urine test that can spot PC accurately and early developed by Health Discovery, a very small company, was licensed out to two huge companies, Abbott Labs and Quest Diagnostics..I have tried to contact all three, only Quest returned my call and told me the test was a back-burner project for them and they had no immediate plans to market it...When I asked why they bought the license, they had no answer... They spent quite a bit of money for it and now they are just sitting on it..

Today, I think Provenge is being more or less rationed by the big university cancer treatment centers because the demand far outstrips the supply.. The company is expanding it's ability to perform the genetic magic but it will be a year or so before overall demand can be met..So for now, you must go through one of the major centers and apply for treatment..At least that is what I have read in several articles..
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