FDA Revokes Breast-Cancer Drug

    Roche's colon-cancer drug Avastin featured in a Cambridge, Massachusetts pharmacy Wednesday, February 1st. Roche Holding AG's second-half profit fell 19 percent, but Roche said full-year profit fell less than analysts expected helped by demand for the colon-cancer drug Avastin. Photographer: J.B. Reed/Bloomberg News.

    J.B. Reed, Bloomberg News / Getty Images

    Despite some desperate patients’ pleas that the breast-cancer-treating drug Avastin had been keeping them alive, the Food and Drug Administration revoked the drug’s approval on Friday. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the drug was neither helping patients live longer nor preventing tumors from metastasizing. On the flip side, the drug also comes with potentially lethal side effects like extreme high blood pressure and hemorrhaging. Avastin will remain on the market as a treatment for other types of cancers, though some insurers will likely no longer pay for the drug. Medicare, however, has said it will continue to pay for the drug’s treatment of breast cancer.

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