Provenge: Pricey prostate cancer breakthrough

  • Article by: JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 3, 2010 - 10:28 PM

A popular, 11th-hour alternative to chemo is adding to the health-cost debate.

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johnsopinionOct. 3, 1010:41 PM

And PUHLEEZE, don't give me this story about all of the development/testing costs. Who has $100K laying around or a policy that will pay for this? No wonder healthcare costs are going through the roof. Even 50 grand is a lot, but I can see insurance covering that with a reasonable co-pay, and how this company couldn't make a decent profit at that price, the logic just escapes me.

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irishmom58Oct. 3, 1010:52 PM

wouldn't his urologist or oncologist have taken a bone scan or PET scan? Why not have primary external beam or brachytherapy radiation therapy? Just as good results, and covered by insurance. Rapid Arc allows for a single arc IMRT treatment and you are on your way in about 10 min each day.

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gzzurbOct. 3, 1011:23 PM

I think it is a hello of a good idea. It obviously works for some people, so even if you are rich there is no warranty. This appeals to my sense of irony. Further I think anyone should get it - if living the 4 months would be of huge societal benefit. For instance, EVERY wealthy republican business man should be required to take it, hoping they will have the most profitable final quarter ever, and their family will do even better than they have, living in the lap of luxury. And don't you go taxing them on this life extension, really, it is all the accomplishment of the wealthy person, heckins, they earned the right to take the Vegas shot... Society should be rightfully ashamed should they act as though they paid for this research let's just remember that.

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rufusfringOct. 3, 1011:39 PM

Obama has money and he pays for stuff. Obama gonna get that money and pay for us. Obama is a great man. He gives away money so just get in line. When Bama run out of money, he can get it from the business owners. Then we get free everything. When the US run outta monies we can get it from China.

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AdriaensOct. 3, 1011:52 PM

Thank you for the informative article about Provenge. However, I would like to clarify that the Provenge trials showed a median, not average, survival benefit of 4.1 months. To illustrate the difference between median and average, think about a list of annual incomes of 100 people, one list including the incomes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and the other not including Bill and Warren. The medians of the two lists would be similar, but the averages would be very different. In the Provenge trials, the men who received the most benefit from Provenge lived years, not months longer than the median. While the average might not be as skewed as the Bill/Warren list, using "average" in place of "median" understates the survival benefit of Provenge.

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joycen62Oct. 4, 1012:26 AM

In my very-well insured uncle, the doctors promoted this treatment to us even though he was dying from kidney failure, a traumatic brain injury, stroke effects, congestive heart failure, and persistent nausea and dizziness that doctors can't pinpoint. He has had 12 years of treatment for prostrate cancer. He's 81 years old. He turned down the Provenge treatment. 4 weeks later, he is strong enough to make the trek to Florida, where he has a second home...........No two ways about it, there are 2 sides to every story.

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rufusfringOct. 4, 10 1:32 AM

Have faith Bama got the bucks..... gonna take care of us. We don't pay Obama does.

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rufusfringOct. 4, 10 2:10 AM

No way. Obama give it to us. We may not be a CEorg, but Obama give the money.

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rufusfringOct. 4, 10 2:13 AM

we gets the money. Obama can ask Kenya for the money if he runs out.

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drew15Oct. 4, 10 4:31 AM

If you are an actuary speaking that is a bit of rough sell to your managers; so to speak. Prostate cancer is incredibly aggressive and many people die within two months of diagnosis. Guess what? It will get worse if government bureaucrats get in the way. Chemically speaking, many people underestimate the effort and expense involved in developing a new pharmaceutical chemistry. Companies that develop them MUST have a return on their investment.

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