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Avastin Dropped Out Of Funded Drugs List

Nova Scotia province of Canada has announced that it will fund two additional cancer drugs but leave out colorectal cancer drug, Avastin.

Members looked at the economics and new evidence on Avastin and concluded it does not offer the same potential in early stages of cancer. Although Avastin costs an average of $35,000 per patient for 12 treatments over six months, British Columbia, Newfoundland and one Quebec health district are funding it.

Health Minister Chris D'Entremont says Oxaliplatin, a drug that treats colorectal cancer, and Mab Campath, a drug that treats chronic lymphocytic leukemia have been added to the list.

The decision was based on recommendations by the province's Cancer Systemic Therapy Policy Committee, which includes oncologists, pharmacists and cancer survivors.

According to the committee, Oxaliplatin can treat colorectal patients after surgery and prevent the disease from progressing. It is estimated that this use of Oxaliplatin has the potential to cure 20 people each year at a cost of $2.6 million.

The province will also pay for a drug called Mab Campath, used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia, at an estimated cost of $170,000 per year.


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