There is an article in today’s Winnipeg Free Press by Jen Skerrit ..
Alternate Source: Therapeutics Daily – Cancer meds for those who have the cash
Both of the above links might be limited by subscription only …
Sun Dec 17 2006
A private infusion clinic scheduled to open in Winnipeg this January will allow patients to pay out of their own pockets for pricey specialty cancer drugs not covered by CancerCare Manitoba.
This marks the first time patients will be able to access the latest intravenous cancer treatments, from Herceptin to Avastin, within the province on their own dime.
Pharmaceutical giant Roche Canada is teaming up with Bayshore Infusion Clinics Inc. and McKesson Canada, a pharmaceutical distributor, to offer the costly meds, which range in price from $20,000 to $40,000 for one year of treatment. Patients need a prescription for the medication from their oncologist before they are referred to the infusion clinic.
The clinic will be staffed by medical professionals. It is called an infusion clinic because it only administers IV drugs for patients.
Sabrina Paiva, spokeswoman for Roche Canada, was unable to say where in Winnipeg the clinic might be located.
Basically .. drugs that are offered at these clinics are:
* RITUVAN – For lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis – Selectively depletes certain cells and their role in cancer and automimmune diseases like arthritis
* AVASTIN – For colon cancer – Health Canada approved the drug last year after it was shown to limit blood flow to tumours
* TARCEVA – For lung cancer – Used to treat advanced non-small-cell lung cancer after at least one failed chemotherapy treatment
* HERCEPTIN – For breast cancer – May block tumour growth in early breast cancer stages where patient has HER2 protein. Is covered for patients who meet criteria set by doctors.
Infusion clinics are already operating in 18 Canadian cities, and nine more are set to open in cities across Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and British Columbia next month.
It’s a two-tiered system … Alan Katz, a researcher with the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy says .. The province can’t afford to pay for these drug treatments that could extend the lives of certain patients, and patients are frustrated they can’t access them.