The approval of Avastin for breast cancer drew heavy applause on Wall Street.
The drug was not proven to extend lives. It did not extend the quality of life.
But it did shrink tumors, which was good enough for the FDA.
Question is, does this represent a sea change in the government's drug policy, is is this the last gasp of a dieing thesis?
My guess is the latter.
My guess is that, within a few years, we are going to separate what is permissible from what insurance or government will pay for.
Avastin does not cure breast cancer. It slows the growth of tumors. That may please patients and doctors but that may not be good enough for those who pay the bills.
And it's the decisions of those who pay the bills which will count the most on the bottom line in 2009 and beyond.