I have occasionally used the sad stories of Jack Rosser and Albert Baxter, both of whom were denied cancer drugs by Britain’s socialized medical system, to illustrate the cruel and arbitrary rationing methods utilized by all government-run health care systems.
For those of you who think that such horrors could never be inflicted on Americans, that all that stuff about “death panels” and “rationing” is BS, I regret to inform you that it has already begun. The FDA plans to take Avastin, a drug used to battle breast cancer, off-label.
Once a drug is off label, most insurance and Medicare will no longer cover the cost of the treatment. So even if a patient meets the criteria of one who might respond positively to Avastin … it is highly unlikely that patient will have access to the drug.
Avastin has been shown to stop the growth of cancer for an average of five months. But it’s expensive, which means that our Beltway masters have deemed it ineffective for use among the hoi polloi. Even worse, the FDA changed its own rules to declare it thus:
In this case, the FDA changed the criteria to judge the effectiveness of the drug [abandoning its traditional "endpoints" process] … to a new very subjective and slippery standard of ‘clinically meaningful.’
So, if you have breast cancer and depend on regular health insurance or Medicare to pay for your medical treatment and medications, you’re not going to get Avastin. You might think an extra five months of life is VERY meaningful, but it’s no longer your call.
Welcome to government-run health care. How do you like it so far?