Avastin is a chemotherapy drug which is effective at fighting colorectal and some forms of lung cancer. However, it is also a very expensive drug.
The Alberta Cancer Board refuses to fund the drug on the basis it is not curative and, therefore, not worth spending the health care dollars. They cite statistics from clinical trials that show Avastin extends life ON AVERAGE by only about a month.
What the Alberta Cancer Board is failing to recognize in this short-sighted decision are two basic facts. First, there are other clinical trials that show using Avastin can make previously inoperable tumours that have spread to other parts of the body operable. For these people, cancer can be cured or, at least, their life expectancy significantly extended.
Second, the Cancer Board is failing to recognize that the clinical trials publish results based on a clinical average. This means there may be some patients for whom this drug will extend their lives significantly while others do not respond at all. This brings the average down to a little over a month.
Shouldn't the patients who respond favourably to this drug be given the opportunity to extend their lives? The Alberta Cancer Board should trust the judgement of their oncologists not to recommend treatment with this drug for those patients it will not help.
We, the undersigned, request that the Alberta Cancer Board recommend funding the drug Avastin to provide Albertans living with cancer another weapon in their fight against this disease.
We appeal to the Alberta Cancer Board, the Minister of Alberta Health and Wellness and the Alberta Legislature to join with those provinces who, with less resources than Alberta, have responded to the needs of cancer patients and their oncologists by funding Avastin.
The Alberta Avastin Funding petition to Alberta Cancer Board was written by J Martin and is in the category Health at GoPetition.