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12:00 AM
 | 
Jan 24, 2011
 |  BioCentury  |  Politics, Policy & Law

The Low Road

BioCentury Commentary says House GOP takes low road on Avastin in breast cancer

The public, and FDA itself, would benefit from smart, focused congressional oversight over the agency. Unfortunately, House Republicans have gotten off to a bad start, leveling unsubstantiated allegations against FDA and exploiting a controversial regulatory decision to advance a political agenda.

As chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is the most important voice in Congress when it comes to FDA. That's why his first comments on the agency's decision to remove the first-line metastatic breast cancer indication from Avastin bevacizumab are especially disappointing.

Upton, Health subcommittee chair Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), and other Republican members of Congress warned in a Dec. 16 statement that Avastin is an example of "FDA putting economics ahead of proper courses of treatment." It asserted that "allowing the FDA to factor in the cost of a drug when determining whether that drug should be approved is the first big step towards government rationing."

The...

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