Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Dendreon Provenge Medicare Prostate Cancer Payment Decision
Good news for prostate cancer patients: Medicare will pay for Provenge therapy. For now they will only guarantee payment for prostate cancer that has reached the metastatic stage that does not respond to anti-androgen therapy (hormone refractory) and is still minimally symptomatic (not yet causing significant pain). Since prostate cancer is common in elderly men, many of those needing Provenge are on Medicare. Most private insurance companies also cover Provenge. The therapy, which sensitizes the patient's immune system to the cancer, has few side effects and has been shown to be effective for some men. Dendreon is expanding its capacity for providing the therapy; currently there is a waiting list. Some doctors and patients have worried that Medicare might decide against reimbursing the cost of the therapy. For more information see: Dendreon Press Release on Medicare Coverage for Provenge New York Time article: Medicare Says it will Pay for Expensive Prostate Drug Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) Proposed Provenge Decision For investors, check out my Dendreon for Investors page, which has links to analysis and dozens of articles on Dendreon and Provenge.