Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Swiss Drug Giant Offers To Pay Hospitals When Cancer Drug Fails - Worldcrunch -

In an innovative "Pay for Performance" contract, the Swiss-based pharmaceutical company is presently making hospitals in Germany the following offer: they would be reimbursed for Roche’s Bevacizumab cancer medication (trade name Avastin) if it failed to halt the progress of a cancer. The offer is valid for first treatment of advanced tumors of the intestine, breast, lung or kidneys. Per month, the cost of treating a cancer patient with Avastin in Germany amounts to around 3,300 euros.

"It’s a real scandal," says Wolfgang Becker-BrĂ¼ser of the Arznei-Telegramm, an independent clearinghouse for medication information for doctors and pharmacists. The current issue of the Telegramm features the story. "This is an invitation to treat with Bevacizumab patients whose chances of being helped by the drug are very slim." It could even mean that more effective treatments were withheld from patients.

"We stand by the contract," said Roche spokesman Hans-Ulrich Jelitto, adding that it also represented a contribution to lowering costs in the health sector.

Posted via email from Jack's posterous

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