Washington, D.C., November 18, 2011— The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) applauds the FDA and Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, for the decision to revoke the approval of Avastin® (bevacizumab) in the first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer. We understand the devastation of metastatic breast cancer and the fact that we do not know how to prevent or cure it. We remain committed to and focused on finding those answers.
Since 2008, NBCC has taken the position that accelerated approval for Avastin was lowering the bar on drug approval. Based on the results of randomized clinical trials, there is no evidence the drug extends the lives of breast cancer patients; evidence indicates it does increase the risk of harm.
We are gratified that the FDA has continued to support science and put what is best for patients above political, public and industry pressures. The FDA's mission is to protect and promote the public's health. The goal of drug approval is to make available drugs that save lives, that significantly extend survival while maintaining a good quality of life. If meaningful benefit for patients cannot be established, approval must not be granted. If evidence shows an approved drug has little or no benefit and harms patients, approval must be revoked. The decision on Avastin supports patients' trust that the drugs they are given have been proven to give them benefit and not expose them to greater harm. We must continue the search for interventions that do provide meaningful benefit that outweighs harm for women with breast cancer.
The FDA decision further emphasizes the urgency of NBCC's Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, whose goal is to harness breast cancer resources toward ending this disease by January 1, 2020.
About the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC)
The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) is dedicated to ending breast cancer by January 1, 2020 through the power of grassroots action and advocacy. NBCC supports increasing funding for breast cancer research that monitors how those funds are spent; expands access to quality health care for all; and ensures that trained advocates influence all decision making that impacts breast cancer. Join NBCC, learn more and take action visit BreastCancerDeadline2020.org.