November 11, 2010

Help me help the PCa community!

As I mentioned yesterday, one of the options that might be available to me is a new drug called Provenge. Though this treatment was approved by the FDA back in April, Medicare is still dragging their feet.  I do not have Medicare, but this decision has an indirect impact on my insurance coverage because most private insurers follow the lead or negotiate the amount they pay the pharmaceutical companies, based on the decision of Medicare.
The Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) meeting is Wednesday, Nov 17th. Discussion will focus on the currently available evidence regarding the clinical benefits and harms of on-label and off-label use of Autologous Cellular Immunotherapy Treatment of Metastatic Prostate Cancer (aka Provenge), and if it is adequate for the Committee to advise that the treatment costs be covered by Medicare.

THIS should be very important to all of you, regardless if you or a loved one has Prostate Cancer. Why? This is a landmark and historic decision by MEDCAC as they are evaluating for the first time 'how much is too much'? Depending on their decision, it could have historic impacts on other cancer treatments, as well as other medical treatments in general.

We still need your help...

For those of you who have not already signed the petition, please do so by clicking the links below. If you have already signed it, I thank you for your action, but ask you to please forward this email to family, friends, and anyone who might be interested in signing it.

Help me help the PCa community and sign the online petition NOW



Anonymous said...


I signed the petition. Also, thank you for all you do for the PC community. Keep up the fight against PC for yourself, as well as for all of those fighting this horrible disease. You are admired by many. Stay strong!

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

you told me once to go for hormonal treatments first. Now that the cancer cells have mutated in such a way that they are no longer controlled by DES, I wonder if you could not 'mutate' your drug from DES to ethinyl estradiol (EE). EE is about 20-25 times as active as DES, so the dose starts at 0.1 mg per day, up to 1 mg per day. 50 years ago, when DES was 'the' standard it was prescribed when DES was not well tolerated. At that time it was much more expensive than DES. Nowadays it is used in almost all formulations of oral constraceptive pills and one of the most commonly used medications.