We are about to enter into a dark period in health care which is best exemplified by the roaring debate over the issue about Medicare funding for Provenge. The bottom line of the debate comes down simply to, what is the value of one human life?
John Arnold, a struggling advanced prostate cancer survivor, exemplifies the value of one life. John has changed the landscape in Western Michigan food distribution for the poor. Michigan has struggled more than most states with severe economic problems and intolerable unemployment rates. John has managed to spearhead the distribution of millions of tons of food, that otherwise would have gone to the land fill, to poor and unemployed people. (See a brief Fox News story about John Arnold and his contributions at: https://malecare.org
John is facing a critical moment where he will probably have to give up this life saving work of over twenty years in order to concentrate on dealing with his advanced prostate cancer. How can this country question the value of one life? How can this country deny treatment to men like John Arnold because one life is not worth it?
Each man has value; the value can be measured in different ways. We all contribute to the greater good, either to general society like John, or to our smaller local communities or to our family. All these contributions are important and they all hold huge value.
Joel T Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.
In 2007, at the age of 55, my husband was diagnosed w/aggressive, metastatic prostate ca.
In the years since then, he has talked at least two friends out of suicide, gotten another into alcohol rehab, and pushed a fourth into going to the doc and getting stomach ca detected at an early, curable stage.
And don’t even mention how many unemployed guys he’s found work for or loaned money to!
So, what is his life worth?
Where we live his primary HMO and secondary Medicare won’t even pay for Jevtana, although he’s failed Taxotere.
Sipuleucel-T (Provenge) should, without question, be approved by CMS nationally for all men with advanced prostate cancer. Very quickly, after it received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network updated its prostate cancer management guidelines to recommend, as a category 1 recommendation, the clinical use for Sipuleucel-T for men with minimally symptomatic disease, an ECOG performance score of 0 or 1, and a life expectancy of at least 6 months. A category 1 recommendation means that, “The
recommendation is based on high level evidence (use of randomized controlled trials).
Multiple blind clinical trials demonstrated a very clear survival advantage for men in the treatment arms. The survival advantage was best (six months) with men who were in the age range of being Medicare eligible.
National coverage for Sipuleucel-T should be granted immediately. According to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), 32,050 men will die in 2010 from advanced prostate cancer. Continuing to delay CMS’S approval would be unethical. We cannot afford to continue to tolerate an unnecessary delay while 32,050 men face their death. These men are our veterans, our fathers, our husbands, our partners and our brothers. How can we abandon them now?
The inital cost of this drug will tumble, as all products do, due to the efficiencies of volume production. The only way to prove this is to authorize its use.
As the largest volume user of this drug CMS should be able to negotiate a price many thousand $ less then the single purchase price.
This is someone elses work but it certainly rings true.
I would add that Dendron was also developing a process similar to provenge for breast cancer (Neuvenge).
This (deepcapture) group has a VERY hard to read ebook with this little blurb in chapter 12 1st ———.
Hi Joe, the cost for provenge is $93,000 according to my oncologist, and I am on the list for it, if my insurance pays its part. I have failed brachy, IMRT, std hormone therapy, and taxotere. I’ve have had PC since age 57, it is aggressive. Right now I am having luck with Ketoconsole and Lupron, that works good on about 40% of the cancer patients.I hope to get Abiraterone when its avail soon, as Keto is hard on your liver. Please advise others like me that has Stage IV and no current options to try Ketoconosole, its working for me at the moment. Of import to note is that there are like 26 different types of PC, every person is different.thanks for website, godspeed, jim