After an emotional and tense two-day hearing in Silver Springs, Maryland, federal advisers voted to revoke the approval of the world’s top-selling cancer drug Avastin as a treatment for women with advanced breast cancer. The Food and Drug Administration’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee heard from patients who say Avastin is a miracle drug, and from cancer advocates who point to adverse side-effects in other users. Finally, the committee concluded that research showed that the drug, which costs $88,000 a year per patient, failed to significantly extend patients’ lives or their quality of life.
Heraleen Broome, from Oakland, Calif., has been taking Avastin for eight years, and testified at the hearing. She says the decision is tantamount to issuing her with a "license to die."