The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have ruled that Dendreon's Provenge can be reimbursed for the treatment of prostate cancer. The approval came with no prohibition of "off-label" use despite its $93,000 cost per course of treatment.
The approval is good news for Dendreon and its shareholders. It is also good news for patients who are being or will be prescribed Provenge. The move by CMS was not expected as the decision mirrored the advisory panel recommendation of only 4 months ago. Provenge represents a novel therapy - is in fact the first therapeutic cancer vaccine -- so it is good to see it gain CMS acceptance at its high cost and its relatively modest (4 months) extension of patient survival. Hopefully, this will encourage the continued development of newer and better medications into the cancer therapeutic arena. See Xconomy report too.
Posted by Bruce Lehr March 30th 2011.