The Obama administration has announced that starting October 1st, Medicare will pay for the cancer medication, Blincyto, which costs around $178,000 for a standard course of treatment (2 28-day cycles). Blincyto, made by Amgen, is specifically for patients with aggressive leukemia. It is not similar to other drugs available to leukemia patients and it represents substantial clinical improvement over existing treatment options. Blincyto, engineered from two antibodies, harnesses the body’s immune system to help fight cancer. It brings certain white blood cells close to malignant cells so the blood cells can destroy the cancer cells. One leukemia patient’s cancer went into remission after only 28 days of treatment with Blincyto.
To learn more about Medicare cancer treatment options and Blincyto: www.nytimes.com