Blue shield of California will no longer pay for the use of the drug Avastin to treat breast cancer. This a sign that support for the widely debated and expensive treatment may be eroding among health care providers.
Blue Shield who has three million members is the first large insurance company to end payments since the Federal Advisory Committee recommended in June 2011 that the FDA rescind Avastin’s approval as a treatment for breast cancer, saying that the drug did not really help the patients. Avastin, which is sold by Genetech, is approved to treat other forms of cancer. It will remain on the market even if its approval for breast cancer is revoked.