2010年9月27日星期一

九萬三千美元一年癌症藥物:生命何價?

九萬三千美元一年癌症藥物:生命何價?
$93,000 cancer drug: How much is a life worth?

AP - 2010年9月27日 下午 08:01:34
By MARILYNN MARCHIONE
Photo By AP

Cancer patients, brace yourselves. Many new drug treatments cost nearly $100,000 a year, sparking fresh debate about how much a few months more of life is worth.
癌症患者,激勵自己。許多新的藥物治療花費近10萬美元一年,引發新的爭論關於多幾個月的生命的價值。
The latest is Provenge, a first-of-a-kind therapy approved in April. It costs $93,000 and adds four months' survival, on average, for men with incurable prostate tumors. Bob Svensson is honest about why he got it: insurance paid.
最新的是Provenge,首個此類療法在四月份批出。它花費 93,000美元並增加四個月的生存,普通而言,給有不治的前列腺腫瘤的男性。鮑勃斯文森表現誠實關於為什麼他要它:保險支付。
"I would not spend that money," because the benefit doesn't seem worth it, says Svensson, 80, a former corporate finance officer from Bedford, Mass.
“我不會花這筆錢,”因為得益似乎不值得,80歲的斯文森說,一位從馬薩諸塞州貝德福德來的前企業財務人員。
His supplemental Medicare plan is paying while the government decides whether basic Medicare will cover Provenge and for whom. The tab for taxpayers could be huge -- prostate is the most common cancer in American men. Most of those who have it will be eligible for Medicare, and Provenge will be an option for many late-stage cases. A meeting to consider Medicare coverage is set for Nov. 17.
他補充醫療保險計劃在支付,而政府決定基本醫療保險是否將覆蓋Provenge和給誰人。給納稅人的帳款可能是巨大的 - 前列腺癌是美國男性最常見的癌症。大多數患有它的人將有資格獲得醫療保險,和Provenge將是一項選擇給許多晚期病例。一次審議醫療保險覆蓋面的會議在 11月17日。
"I don't know how they're going to deal with that kind of issue," said Svensson, who was treated at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in suburban Boston. "I feel very lucky."
“我不知道他們是如何去處理那樣的議題,”斯文森說,他是在波士頓郊區的Lahey診所醫療中心接受治療的, “我覺得非常幸運。”
For the last decade, new cancer-fighting drugs have been topping $5,000 a month. Only a few of these keep cancer in remission so long that they are, in effect, cures. For most people, the drugs may buy a few months or years. Insurers usually pay if Medicare pays. But some people have lifetime caps and more people are uninsured because of job layoffs in the recession. The nation's new health care law eliminates these lifetime limits for plans that were issued or renewed on Sept. 23 or later.
在過去十年,新的抗癌藥物已高於每月5,000元,只有少數這些保持癌症在緩解,這麼長時間它們實際上是治療方法。對於大多數人來說,藥物可以購買數月或數年時間。保險公司通常支付如果醫療保險支付,但是有些人有一輩子的膠囊和更多的人沒有受保,由於在經濟衰退時期被裁。國家的新衛生保健法消除了這些一生的限制,對計劃發出或續期 於9月23日或以後。
Celgene Corp.'s Revlimid pill for multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, can run as much as $10,000 a month; so can Genentech's Avastin for certain cancers. Now Dendreon Corp.'s Provenge rockets price into a new orbit.

Unlike drugs that people can try for a month or two and keep using only if they keep responding, Provenge is an all-or-nothing $93,000 gamble. It's a one-time treatment to train the immune system to fight prostate tumors, the first so-called "cancer vaccine." Part of why it costs so much is that it's not a pill cranked out in a lab, but a treatment that is individually prepared, using each patient's cells and a protein found on most prostate cancer cells. It is expensive and time-consuming to make.

It's also in short supply, forcing the first rationing of a cancer drug since Taxol and Taxotere were approved 15 years ago. At the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, doctors plan a modified lottery to decide which of its 150 or so eligible patients will be among the two a month it can treat with Provenge. An insurance pre-check is part of the process to ensure they financially qualify for treatment.
http://www.mail.com/intl/article.aspx/health/0/apnews/health/20100927/u_us-med-costly-cancer-drugs?pageid=1

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