nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Acid Test Of Rationing Health Care: What Will Medicare Decide?

Rationing question again:  expensive cancer drug may not be covered  by Medicare.

Some time back I posted on the new prostate cancer drug Provenge.  It's unique in being the first of a new kind of drug that is tailored to the individual's immune system in fighting the cancer.  Experience with drugs of this type will give us new and targeted ways to fight cancer that we haven't seen before.  For info on how this works, see my previous post.

BUT,  it isn't a lifesaver.  It increases survival by some months (which varies; some more, some less)

AND, it's expensive.

For those of you who wondered about "death panels" and rationing, you should watch the current review Medicare is undertaking to determine whether the drug is "reasonable and necessary."

Medicare costs in the US are currently unsustainable, and we will see cost play a part in their decision, putting a monetary value on human life.

See if you think this is the way our health care system should work.

Doc D

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