In a unanimous 6 v 0 vote a panel of FDA advisers decided to halt the use of cancer drug Avastin for the treatment of breast cancer, saying studies have failed to show Avastin is effective for that purpose.
Approval of Avastin was based on just one single study by the manufacturer, Genentech, which suggested the drug prevented the disease from advancing for an average of 5.5 months. However subsequent studies have failed to replicate those results. Infact they have shown that Avastin carries serious risks like high blood pressure, heart attacks, and bleeding.
Avastin will remain on the market for other cancer treatments, but the FDA's withdrawal will probably mean insurance companies will not cover it for breast cancer patients. As a result, many women won't be able to afford the treatments, which can cost up to $100,000 a year. Should the FDA now be investigated to see how they came to originally approve Avastin for the treatment of breast cancer.