Who again is supposed to cut the rate of growth of Medicare spending?

A federal advisory committee said Wednesday that there was adequate evidence that the drug Provenge prolongs the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer, an endorsement that makes it more likely that Medicare will pay for the $93,000 treatment.

The Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee voted that it had “intermediate confidence” in the strength of the data that the drug, developed by Dendreon, improves survival.

The median result in trials is four extra months of life, and the link is here.  If you think that four months of life are worth $93,000 of public money, that is a defensible position.  But how many times can you apply that argument?  I saw this treatment as a good candidate for allocation by market mechanisms, but I suppose that's not how it will be.


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