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Here come the death panels

I am 67 years young and I've been battling breast cancer for 11 years. I'm alive today because of a drug called Avastin. But by Friday the FDA is expected to revoke its approval of the drug for use against breast cancer. I'm terribly frightened%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%94and angry.

My story begins in 1999, when I lifted my arm and discovered a web of popping red veins. Doctors identified a tumor, and I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Chemotherapy worked for a bit, but then the tumor started growing again. So I had a mastectomy.

In 2002, the cancer returned%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%94this time to my liver. That meant my cancer had metastasized. It was treatable but no longer curable.

Once again I underwent surgery, a liver resection. I was then put on the drugs Navelbine and Etoposide. At first, it seemed to work%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%94my cancer went into remission. But three years later, the cancer came back. I now had four tumors in my liver and my outlook wasn't very good. My doctor was blunt: "You're in big trouble," he told me.

Thankfully, a clinical trial had recently started and I was selected for a combination of Xeloda and Avastin. Xeloda is a chemotherapy pill that kills cancerous cells. Avastin cuts off blood-flow to tumors. Almost immediately two of my tumors disappeared. The duel-pronged approach appeared to be working.

Nearly three-and-a-half years have passed. Today, I'm not just living life; I'm enjoying it. While I get tired more easily than I used to, I can take part in just about all normal activities. I can go out to dinner with my husband. I can visit with friends.

This could all change on Friday, when the FDA is due to rule on its advisory panel's recommendation to withdraw approval of Avastin. If the FDA does so, Medicare could stop paying for it. My doctor is hopeful that there will be an exception for people like me%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%94perhaps I'll be grandfathered in and allowed to continue my treatment regimen.

But I don't know if that will happen, and I have to wait and see. If Avastin is withdrawn, countless women who might benefit from the drug will be denied. This is outrageous.

I don't understand the government's rationale.

The FDA says that it is considering withdrawal because Avastin doesn't show enough promise against breast cancer. I find that very hard to believe. I'm proof that Avastin works.

The FDA is also concerned that Avastin has bad side effects. This is illogical%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%94all chemotherapy has horrible side effects, too. As does every other medicine I've tried: Tamoxifen, Taxol, Taxotere, Navelbine, Etoposide, Arimidex and Faslodex. All cancer treatments are risky, and they all come with side effects.

But the worst side effect is death, and that's guaranteed to happen when cancer isn't treated.

Some claim that the FDA's decision is about the money. It's true that Avastin is expensive, but a medicine's price tag shouldn't allow the FDA to determine whether patients live...

by Anonymousreply 6401/18/2013

Could you still get the drug from Canada or Mexico?

by Anonymousreply 109/16/2010

Just because one person got better doesn't mean a drug works. It needs to work a lot more than one case to even prove that it was the drug that changed the outcome.%0D %0D With the kind of lax controls you're suggesting, people could get anything to become an FDA approved cancer drug. I'm sure I could test my piss with 1000 cancer patients and one person would get better.

by Anonymousreply 209/16/2010

Someone is seriously misguided.

[quote]But by Friday the FDA is expected to revoke its approval of the drug for use against breast cancer. I'm terribly frightened"and angry.

[quote]Some claim that the FDA's decision is about the money. It's true that Avastin is expensive, but a medicine's price tag shouldn't allow the FDA to determine whether patients live...

Absolute nonsense. The FDA doesn't give a shit how much a drug costs. The approve outrageously expensive drugs all the time.

Cleary Avastin works for some people. But the side effects have been far worse than most of the drugs they approve, and certainly worse than other chemo drugs.

Avastin inhibits the growth of blood vessels, which is part of the body's normal healing and maintenance. The body grows new blood vessels in wound healing, and as collateral circulation around blocked or atherosclerotic blood vessels. Avastin interferes with these normal processes, and worsens conditions like coronary artery disease or peripheral artery disease.

Side effects: high blood pressure, heightened risk of bleeding, bowel perforation, nasal septum perforation, and renal thrombotic microangiopathy. And it's not a cure: at best, it extends life by a few months in most people, if it helps at all.

by Anonymousreply 309/16/2010

I'm wondering if posts like the OP's are part of a campaign by insurance companies to increase the public's displeasure with health care reform?

Your post is idiotic, OP. Just for the record.

by Anonymousreply 409/16/2010

Also, anyone who calls herself "67 years young" is a dolt.

by Anonymousreply 509/16/2010

OP, tell the boys over at Roche to come up with better copy. This was complete shit.

by Anonymousreply 609/16/2010

OP, no one TALKS like that. You sound like the shill that you are. And why did you post that on a GAY GOSSIP board?

by Anonymousreply 709/16/2010

Surely you don't think this is original to OP.

by Anonymousreply 809/16/2010

It's a repost from the Rupert Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal.

by Anonymousreply 909/16/2010

OP has disappeared. Obviously this is some kind of campaign.

by Anonymousreply 1009/16/2010


by Anonymousreply 1109/16/2010

A drug that kills people in a way that has nothing to do with the disease it is treating has to be taken off the market.%0D %0D I loved Vioxx. It took care of the pain for my degenerative joint disease. But it caused heart attacks in a lot of people and some of them died. You can't have a drug that treats pain causing death from heart attack.%0D %0D I've never found a medication as good as Vioxx for my pain. But wtf - at least I'm not dying of a heart attack.

by Anonymousreply 1209/16/2010

No silly--death panels are going to decide whether or not YOU are valuable enough to society to allow to live, not whether or not a drug is effective. Death panels are Obama's plot. The FDA has been approving and disapproving drugs since 1938. That's on FDR.

Damn liberals.

by Anonymousreply 1309/16/2010

Can I sit on OP's Death Panel? Please?

by Anonymousreply 1409/16/2010


by Anonymousreply 1509/16/2010

Yes, my shill-dar went off immediately, too. Such misleading crap.

I do have some familiarity with the drug Avastin because it's also used as a treatment for macular degeneration and I happen to know it is actually CHEAP and that the FDA has been complicit in a scheme to withdraw its approval for that use in favor of its massively more expensive (and virtually identical) variant called Lucentis. Now THIS is exactly the kind of scam that Big Pharma/Big Medicine is afraid of losing out on with socialized medicine. If the insurance industry is screaming it's probably because they know the same gambit is coming and they'll be shelling out even higher payments for the new drug. You can be assured it's never about whether the poor sick patient is getting proper help.

by Anonymousreply 1609/16/2010


by Anonymousreply 1709/16/2010

R3, the author states that her cancer is incurable, but that Avastin has helped manage it.

R4, the insurance companies wrote the health care "reform" bill. Why do you think it forces us to buy insurance from them? They are thrilled with it!

R12, the chance that drug might have long term negative effects makes death the better alternative?

R16, if this new drug is the same but more expensive then it won't get prescribed to poor people. Letting them die is better for society?

by Anonymousreply 1809/16/2010

In any case, these are not the "death panels" that were so much discussed in 2009. Approval or disapproval of a drug is something quite different.

by Anonymousreply 1909/16/2010

R19, taking a drug that has proven effective for thousands of cancer patients off the market sounds like a "death panel" type decision to me.

by Anonymousreply 2009/16/2010

"I'm terribly frightened and angry!"

Dead giveaway at the end of the first paragraph of "OP's" post. Fear and anger are such powerful political tools.

by Anonymousreply 2109/16/2010

OP, since you dishonestly posted a cut-and-paste (copyrighted) piece as your own, without appropriate attribution, and were caught, why don't you cut your losses and paste in the URL of your source now?

by Anonymousreply 2209/16/2010

R18, if you are the OP, then why do you refer to yourself as "the author" in your post?

by Anonymousreply 2309/16/2010

It's probably due to corruption. The makers of the drug haven't kept up with their bribes. In 2006, the FDA, against all medical advice, discontinued the use of Quinine for leg cramps and prohibited the manufacture of the drug except by one approved vendor who of course raised the price 900%. The FDA can't ban quinine because it is grandfathered in under the food and drug act of 1906, just like aspirin - which also would have been banned by the FDA. The truth is that quinine's positive and negative effects have been known for hundreds of years, like aspirin, and by banning it they condemn more to death than could possibly have been saved by elimination of harmful side effects. It sounds like they are doing the same for Avastin. The reason why I bring it up is that some people made BIG MONEY off of this. The people who sell the "restless leg" syndrome drug; the company that makes the one "approved" quinine which now costs over $200 for a thirty day supply when it was a $4 generic before the ban; and so on. Follow the money. They would never BAN a drug without somebody getting rich from it.%0D

by Anonymousreply 2409/16/2010

Remember, millions of people died needlessly of heart attacks during the FDA's unscientific, foolish war against aspirin (justified by a couple dozen cases of Reye's syndrome, and a smattering of bleeding deaths or blood clot deaths). Somebody must be planning to get rich by banning your drug or else they wouldn't do it.%0D

by Anonymousreply 2509/16/2010

[quote][R18], if you are the OP, then why do you refer to yourself as "the author" in your post?

Obviously OP is not the author. How many 67-year-old Republican women write long posts on DL looking for sympathy for their Tea Party opinions?

by Anonymousreply 2609/16/2010

OP copied and pasted it from the Wall Street Journal.

by Anonymousreply 2709/16/2010

So why did they ban Vioxx, oh conspiracy theorists?%0D %0D It was already an expensive drug. They haven't come out with a more expensive drug to take its place. It did help with the pain of inflammation. Yet they took it off the market because it killed people by causing heart attacks?%0D %0D Where's the ulterior, momey-making motive for banning it?%0D %0D BTW, I now take Voltaren, which costs $4 a month and I take 4 OTC generic Pepcids a day to protect my stomach and that costs me $8 a month.%0D %0D So how does banning an expensive drug (Vioxx) work into your conspiracy theories, since I now take two medications that cost me less than my insurance co-payment for Vioxx used to cost?

by Anonymousreply 2809/16/2010

Hey, r4:

Newsflash: The health care bill was written by the big insurance companies, which are owned by the big banks.

by Anonymousreply 2909/16/2010

And they will also be able to refuse you based on pre-existing medical conditions. AND the IRS will be able to directly dip into your private bank accounts if they decide you owe money. AND they slipped in a cute little tax on gold. Now what gold has to do with health care, I don't know, but then what the health care bill has to do with health care I don't know either.

by Anonymousreply 3009/16/2010

Here's a cute video clip of Bill Gates who thinks he's better than other people and has the right to play God and decide if you deserve to live or die. Remember: All of you will be old too one day.

by Anonymousreply 3109/16/2010

I did not realize that my link to the original article did not work in the my post.

Mea Culpa. The link at R27 is correct.

by Anonymousreply 3209/16/2010

OP I hope xeloda by itself will be just as effective and I trust we all wish you the best.

However, to refer to death panels as if this has anything to do with healthcare reform makes no sense. the fda and disapproving the use of drugs has been happening forever. And this can indeed be unfortunate for those who have success with treatment that ends up being discontinued.

by Anonymousreply 3309/16/2010

[quote]The reason why I bring it up is that some people made BIG MONEY off of this. The people who sell the "restless leg" syndrome drug; the company that makes the one "approved" quinine which now costs over $200 for a thirty day supply when it was a $4 generic before the ban; and so on. Follow the money. They would never BAN a drug without somebody getting rich from it.

Even the doctors know what a load of crap this is. My mom's doc told her to just drink tonic water if she feels a leg cramp coming on. It works! The doc says she even does it herself.

by Anonymousreply 3409/16/2010

Liar R34.%0D %0D Quinine is as safe and effective drug as has ever existed.%0D %0D Tonic water does not have enough quinine in it to have the effect described.%0D

by Anonymousreply 3509/16/2010

I don't understand how some people buy this shit.

by Anonymousreply 3609/16/2010

Sorry, that link was a google search of "I'm alive today because of a drug called Avastin" which came up with pages of sites where that nonsense has been posted.

by Anonymousreply 3709/16/2010

[quote]Liar, R34. Quinine is as safe and effective drug as has ever existed. Tonic water does not have enough quinine in it to have the effect described.

Excuse me, doll? Maybe you need to check YOUR meds because a) I was actually SUPPORTING your point and b) Your accusation is both rude and erroneous. I'll gladly give you the doctor's name and number and you can ask her yourself.

by Anonymousreply 3809/16/2010

[quote]Nearly three-and-a-half years have passed. Today, I'm not just living life; I'm enjoying it. While I get tired more easily than I used to, I can take part in just about all normal activities. I can go out to dinner with my husband. I can visit with friends.

As long she remembers to charge the scooter.

by Anonymousreply 3909/16/2010

The "OP" at R32 didn't realize the "link to the original article....did not work"?

Spammer. Bullshitter. Asshole.

Pushing a twat's tale who refers to standard protocols for clinical trials as "Obamacare" is insulting to the intelligence of DLers. That says a lot.

by Anonymousreply 4009/16/2010

Meanwhile, people without health insurance could never hope for the kind of treatment that is sustaining this woman's life. Her article is painfully silent on those without health insurance.%0D %0D An former neighbor of mine died from cancer. He didn't have health insurance. His last year of life included selling nearly all of his salable possessions, and community fundraisers to try and raise money for treatment. He didn't actually raise that much, nowhere near enough to pay for treatment.%0D %0D We're supposed to get all sympathetic for a woman with health insurance who has been able to extend her life 11 years because of it, while ignoring those unable to acquire it?%0D %0D What a hateful bitch.

by Anonymousreply 4109/16/2010

Now that is typical freeper argumentation R41. Pit the people against each other. Health care should be a right.%0D

by Anonymousreply 4209/16/2010

eath panels exist - they are comprised of insurance execs and hospital administrators. The insurance companies are probably behind the FDA's attempt to make this drug unavailable to breast cancer patients.

by Anonymousreply 4309/16/2010

If the OP was really a cancer survivor looking for access to Avastin she'd be posting to cancer forums. This is complete and utter bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 4409/16/2010

OP deserves the Firing Squad for debasing this woman's life and lying so cravenly.

by Anonymousreply 4509/16/2010

The saddest part of all is that you will probably hear this same sad pack of lies being reported - unchallenged - on the evening news now that it seems to be spreading like wildfire on the internets. Ugh.

by Anonymousreply 4609/16/2010

People, listen: Every major hospital has a Charity Care Department, they just don't like to tell people about it. They HAVE to give you medical treatment if you can't afford it. It will either be paid for entirely, or most of it will. They base it obviously off your financial situation. I think it's the same for dentist, 1/3 of their work is required to be for charity cases. I urge you to look into it.

by Anonymousreply 4709/16/2010

" the insurance companies wrote the health care "reform" bill. Why do you think it forces us to buy insurance from them? They are thrilled with it!"

Hon, take it from someone on the inside--no they ain't

by Anonymousreply 4809/16/2010

Someone who sits at a cubicle along with a hundred other people is not exactly in the know, r48. Were you expecting a memo informing you personally since you're so incredibly important?

by Anonymousreply 4909/16/2010

And not to mention how much the big drug companies got in on the act pushing for this health care. Article below.

by Anonymousreply 5009/16/2010

"Someone who sits at a cubicle along with a hundred other people is not exactly in the know,"


But someone who sits in a conference room while his employer plans to make the transition to the law's requirements as difficult as possible for its customers just might.

Listen to what Sebelius says about "clarifying" provisions of the law. That's when she tells the insurance companies to knock it the fuck off. (just happened last week)

My employer publicly states it embraces health care reform in press releases & on its various websites. It is kind of cute, & yet sad, that you think it actually means that.

by Anonymousreply 5109/16/2010

I don't care what you hear in your regional office, r48. The insurance companies wrote the bill and they are the ones who benefit from it. More people forced to buy their services? Oh, what a hardship! The stock prices shooting up in companies such as Aetna and United Health? Oh, agooooony.

by Anonymousreply 5209/16/2010

[quote]So why did they ban Vioxx, oh conspiracy theorists?

It's actually fairly simple, R28. First of all, the pharmaceutical company that manufactured Vioxx and put it on the market made a fortune off it. For quite a period of time, it was impossible to watch a TV show or read a magazine without being subjected to Vioxx ads. It was a highly profitable drug and it was marketed extensively and effectively.

Most medical doctors don't have a clue about pharmaceuticals. They rely on the word of drug company representatives. Doctors' offices are littered with advertising from pharmaceutical companies. Most of them can't pick up a pen or write a note without having a drug company ad looking them in face. Drug companies are expert at this kind of marketing, never mind the golf trips to tropical paradises and the catered lunches brought in for medical office staff. Add to this the patients who go to their doctors and insist upon a prescription for whatever drug they see advertised.

Then people who were using Vioxx began to die. It takes years for that kind of information to be processed, because anecdotal evidence is generally ignored by the medical community and is rarely disseminated.

It took a while, but the news finally began filtering down that there was substantial evidence to prove that the drug had caused a significant number of heart attacks, many of which ended in death.

After the news about the heart attacks became public, the pharmaceutical company began getting its ass sued for killing and injuring its customers, with the promise of lots more lawsuits to come.

The expense of fighting a staggering number of lawsuits and then paying out large settlements began to overcome the current and future profits the pharmaceutical company could hope to make from the drug. After all, it had already profited greatly. The decision was made to cut future losses.

That's why Vioxx got taken off the market, not because of any altruism on the part of the the pharmaceutical company.

As has been said very well previously on this thread, follow the money.

If you're not bright enough to think for yourself, R28, I wish you the best of luck being either a guinea pig or a stooge.

by Anonymousreply 5309/16/2010

Buy it from Canada or Mexico.

by Anonymousreply 5409/16/2010

My 67 years "young" *cringe* mother collapsed during an Avastin treatment, was taken to the hospital, and died two weeks later in the ICU. Take that, you fucking shill. I wish I'd known about Avastin's history at the time she died. Why are we just hearing about this now? The statute of limitations has expired for me to sue the company or the doctor, who administered it to her despite a 20 year history of coronory artery disease which included quadruple bypass surgery at 53 and numerous angioplasties in the years that followed.

It was more than anything the arrogant, incompetent doctor's fault for treating her with it, but I still wish I'd known about the problems before just recently. I could have at least gotten some compensation.

by Anonymousreply 5509/18/2010

Of course the OP is a shill, if even a reposted one.

by Anonymousreply 5609/19/2010

Did anyone else see the article in "The New Yorker" a few weeks back about this issue?

Americans, especially, seem to have the idea that death is only optional for them. With the right drugs, and the right treatment, Grampy can recover from that cancer and live another 95 years!

What really stayed with me from that article was the fact that HOSPICE care costs many thousands of dollars less PER DAY, and provides for a much greater quality of life during the time remaining a person with a terminal illness.

Terminal patients and their families often remain in denial until it is too late to have any quality time left to enjoy.

If you were diagnosed with a condition that was certain to take your life in six months, OR you could possibly extend your life by a few more weeks or months BUT there would be horrible side effects of the treatment to suffer, AND the cost of the procedure would bankrupt your family...

by Anonymousreply 5709/19/2010

By, Chris Rossini Email | Twitter

Let's rewind back to 2010, shall we? A Missouri VA hospital is under fire because it may have exposed more than 1,800 veterans to life-threatening diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis has recently mailed letters to 1,812 veterans telling them they could contract hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after visiting the medical center for dental work...

Such a disaster surely deserves an "investigation" and an irate Congressman...don't you think?

[Rep. Russ ] Carnahan said Tuesday he is calling for a investigation into the issue and has sent a letter to President Obama about it.

"This is absolutely unacceptable," said Carnahan, a Democrat from Missouri. "No veteran who has served and risked their life for this great nation should have to worry about their personal safety when receiving much needed healthcare services from a Veterans Administration hospital." Now let's fast forward to January 13, 2013.

TheBlaze reports: The Veterans Administration has told western New York members of Congress that more than 700 patients at the Buffalo VA Medical Center may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C because of accidental reuse of insulin pens, according to a published report.

The hospital “recently discovered that is some cases, insulin pens were not labeled for individual patients,” Evangeline Conley, a spokeswoman for the hospital, told the newspaper. “Although the pen needles were always changed, an insulin pen may have been used on more than one patient.”

Conley said that once this was discovered the hospital “immediately changed its procedures to prevent insulin pens from being reused." Cool...a procedure change not to reuse insulin pens on different patients.

But we're not done yet. Let's not forget the "investigation" and irate Congressman.

Here they are, right on schedule: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) was equally upset, calling for an investigation into what “can only be described as the grossest of irresponsible and dangerous behavior.”

Stay healthy.

They're coming for all of us.

by Anonymousreply 5801/15/2013

What we need to do is stop paying for antiretrovirals, since AIDS is 100% preventable in the first place.

by Anonymousreply 5901/18/2013

The dead giveaway for this OP is not only taking the article out of context, but headlining it with "Here Come the Death Panels".

There NEVER WERE death panels. It's classic freeper bullshit.

The "death panels" in America have been insurance companies and the government that lets people die by its fucked up health care system, one where the rich can buy health care.

by Anonymousreply 6001/18/2013

OP - I'm so sorry about your condition.

But you live in a country which decided that the state has the right to decide whether those who take life can be put legally to death.

Stand up and demand that the cash spent on executing people be spent on treating people instead...

by Anonymousreply 6101/18/2013

R61, OP probably won't be standing up for anything. Look at the date of her first post. She dead, girl.

by Anonymousreply 6201/18/2013

Sorry, r62 - didn't see that. Probably giving advice on how to deal with pimples would be a bit...redundant too?

by Anonymousreply 6301/18/2013

R61, R62, R63 ... catch up... the OP is not the person who wrote the story. OP is likely alive, alas, the author of the article that OP reposted from the WSJ is a different person.

by Anonymousreply 6401/18/2013
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