BRCA1, BRCA2 No Gene Testing Paid for You

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  • 06/20/2007
What do you call it when science makes a real medical breakthrough -- one that can save lives and money -- but insurance companies refuse to pay for it.

In this case, you can call it "Wednesday."

Here's the story as reported by the AP ...

A new study suggests thousands of young women with breast cancer — an estimated 8,000 a year in the United States — are not offered testing to identify faulty genes and clarify their medical decisions.

Guidelines used by insurance companies to decide coverage for genetic testing should change to reflect the findings, said an author of the study, Dr. Jeffrey N. Weitzel of City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif. Testing can cost more than $3,000.

Here's the complete story:

And for those who are calling for "comparative effectiveness" or "evidence-based medicine," or healthcare technology assessment" consider this -- isn't a genetic test that gets the right treatment to the right patient as early as possible the best way to lower costs and improve outcomes?

But that would require long-term thinking.

Why isn't Mr. Waxman calling a hearing on this?

(Do more women have to die of breast cancer than died on 9-11 for him to be interested.)

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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