Alexander Reacts to FDA’s Decision to Remove Avastin from Breast Cancer Approved Treatment List

December 16, 2010

17,000 Women Annually Will Lose Lifesaving Drug

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, released the following remarks today after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is recommending that Avastin no longer be approved for the treatment of breast cancer. Avastin, a lifesaving drug, successfully treats approximately 17,000 women annually.

“As expected, the Obama administration has begun its process of rationing health care with its announcement to remove Avastin from the market for women suffering from metastatic breast cancer. Today’s decision to limit women’s access to a lifesaving treatment is amiss, and indicative of the frightful direction our health care system is headed.

“For the government to deny access to such a viable treatment is a severe intrusion into personal health care decisions that should be left between the patient and the doctor. Given that this drug helps over 17,000 patients manage their disease, it appears this move is merely based on cost cutting and rationing rather than on any real medical grounds.

“Avastin has extended the lives of thousands of individuals suffering from this devastating disease. Going forward, they will no longer be afforded that opportunity. This decision represents the first major example of things to come if components of the recent health care overhaul are allowed to continue. I will work with others in the incoming majority to restore the fundamentals of the U.S. health care system.”

Recently, Alexander joined four of his colleagues in sending a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg emphasizing their critical concerns and the implications of taking Avastin away from breast cancer sufferers. (Letter is attached)

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