Your wife’s story reminded me of some articles I’d posted a while back (see copied below) . While those who respond to Temodal will sing it’s praises, brain tumour treatments are not a “one size fits all solution” – even though doctor’s use the “evidence-based” argument (ie. x % of people respond to the drug). Some drugs that help one person can make another’s tumour progress. Some experience minimal side-effects and others relatively few. That’s why it’s important to monitory any drug treatment for effects while on the treatment as a guage for any individual.
Also the drugs that are approved by the TGA for a particular treatment are often the first line of treatment as doctors are reluctant to mention drugs that are not subsidised and at a high cost to the patient. Often what happens is that by the time a drug comes to the market after 10 years of clinical trials and scientific reports and applications to the TGA to approve the drug, the patent has almost expired (although they charge big dollars for the drug while the balance of the patent period remains to recoup their investment in clinical and scientific studies and application processes with drug regulators) Hence any future uses for the drug even if found through experimentation or as a last resort type trial, are not much use in terms of getting the drug approved for that purpose. The drug companies are only interested in investing money in clinical trials for drugs they have a patent on if the duration of the patent period allows sufficient time for clinical trials and related drug approval processes (so they can make big dollars in sales) and the TGA is a cost-recovery agency and only interested in those drugs or drug companies that are prepared to pay it’s hefty fees for approvals and then Committee consideration to have it included on the PBS.
I’ve had a similar experience and the drug I’m on to stop the growth of my meningioma is not available incl for that purpose and at a cost of thousands of dollars per year while I can afford to pay for it – when I can’t that’s just too bad.
Even if you find the drug is useful for you, the government won’t subsidise it under existing arrangements and that’s been the case under the Liberals for 10 years and since Labor has been in government. No change to the drug approval, PBS approval process. I guess not all taxpayers are equal, some end up with subsidised drugs to keep them alive (at phenomenal cost to the taxpayers) and others (who have paid an equal amount of tax over the years) have to pay for their own drugs to keep themselves alive. Those that can’t well they won’t stay alive so why worry about their votes anyway?...........
Brain Tumor Drug (Temodal) May Help Spur Cancer's Return
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news ... 81362.html
March 5, 2009
Avastin increases survival rates in recurrent glioblastoma affected patients
http://www.news-medical.net/news/200909 ... ients.aspx
3. September 2009