Thursday, May 23, 2013

Medicare killing personalized medicine....?

Just when you thought we might see some enormous breakthroughs in CLL/NHL molecular testing (see my posts on CLL prognosis, prognostic marker definitions, molecular prognosis in DLBCL) Medicare comes along and squashes progress....

Two recent articles by Scott Gottlieb spell out how new molecular tests get started and the important role Medicare plays in setting policies that apply to ALL insurance (yes - even if you don't have medicare, when they make a change, so does Blue Cross etc)

In CLL, we are on the cusp of new molecular testing strategies that will help inform the optimal treatment for an individual patient, clarify their prognosis like never before, and even help identify patients where watch and wait may be a particularly beneficial strategy.

When Medicare makes a ruling, it can be very difficult to turn things around unless patients step up and make noise.  Not sure how this one will play out in the end but hopefully such testing will be able to move forward.