FDA Panel Rejects Breast Cancer Drug

A Food and Drug administration panel voted Wednesday to take popular breast cancer drug Avastin off the market, despite pleas by patients and the company that manufactures the drug. The final decision lies with FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, but the influential six-member advisory panel unanimously concluded the drug is harming women more than helping them. While doctors could still prescribe the drug “off-label” for other cancers, insurers will stop paying for the drug once it is revoked by the FDA—at a cost of $88,000 per patient. Avastin was cleared by the FDA in 2008 under a fast-track approval process.