Many people pooh-poohed the notion of death panels created by ObamaCare.
Well, yeah, they won’t be called death panels. But there will be panels that cause people to die because of decisions about costs. An editorial in today’s Examiner has this subhead: “Breast Cancer Drug Offers Glimpse of Death Panels.”
The editorial is about Avastin, a drug that has extended the lives of many women:
OnFriday, the Food and Drug Administration could doom thousands of breast cancer victims. The FDA will be considering the unprecedented step of revoking approval for Avastin, a drug that represents the last hope for women with late-stage breast cancer. About 17,500 women a year are treated with the drug, which cuts off blood flow to tumors. It does not cure cancer, but it does stop its growth and extend life. Unfortunately, medical miracles don’t come cheap — treating a breast cancer patient with Avastin can cost $90,000 a year.
The drug does not produce “clinically meaningful” results-i.e., statistical results-but it has extended the lives of many, sometimes years, though more often for around six months. If government withdraws approval both government programs and private insurers will cease to pay for Avastin. Cancer patients and their doctors will no longer have the decision to make. The government will have decided that you don’t get that extra time.