I’m back to my Oasis of Healing series on Weds. Meantime, as we talk about cancer, the FDA just ruled Friday that the best-selling cancer drug in the world, Avastin, shouldn’t be used for breast cancer anymore, even though its dangers have been known for at least 18 months. The drug is being pulled not only because it doesn’t work, but also because it destroys the cardiovascular system. (It’s used for many cancers, though—and it’s okay to keep causing massive bleeding, severe high blood pressure, and heart failure for THOSE cancers.)
In the article below, FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg agonizes over destroying a billion-dollar-a-year cash cow for Genentech, saying she’ll “absolutely” reconsider if the Genentech finds “the right evidence.” (Have repeated studies documenting how Avastin destroys blood vessels and doesn’t cure cancer been the “wrong” evidence?)
And Genentech scrambles to find some evidence to keep their chemical out there killing more people. Finally, inexplicably, despite the FDA revoking its approval, doctors can still prescribe it, and Medicare states it will continue to pay for the drug, which costs about $100,000 per year for a single patient! An outstanding use of taxpayer dollars, wouldn’t you say?
Meantime, Medicare and our health care companies have no interest in paying for even reasonably well documented natural treatments, even while they WILL pay for experimental, unproven, expensive patented drug treatments.
Read the Associated Press story HERE.
As appalling as it is, I’m unsurprised how long it took for the FDA to respond to death and devastation caused by Avastin. In 1994, I was shocked reading a Los Angeles study by Peters, et al in Los Angeles showing that kids who eat 12 hot dogs per month or more (or their fathers do!) have NINE times the risk of leukemia. Samuel Epstein, M.D. wrote this petition at that time asking for the FDA to require warnings on hot dog packages, citing 23 different studies linking nitrites in processed meat to cancer.
Guess what the FDA has done about it, to date? Seventeen years later, it’s done exactly nothing. FDA approval doesn’t give me any reason to feel at ease about chemicals in my food. Or cancer drugs.