Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (10) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Next Thread
Author: sano Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 24974  
Subject: Please call your 'R' Senator Date: 7/8/2008 7:49 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Greetings,

The last (we hope!) big push is on - please help NOW! Tomorrow the Senate will
re-vote on the Medicare bill with the RIT extension. We need to convince one -
just one - more Republican senator. Please take a minute to read this entire
message.and help!

Today, Senator Durbin of Illinois made an impassioned plea to his fellow
senators to pass the Medicare bill. He reminded senators that the house
Republicans passed the bill 6 to 1 and said that he hoped one more Republican in
the Senate would vote for protecting Medicare patients. As an aside, he also
said he didn't know Senator McCain's position on the bill, but challenged McCain
to return for the vote (McCain was not present for the last vote) and protect
the 40 million seniors that are affected by this bill.

Last week, the AMA took out TV ads targeting 10 GOP senators who are up for
re-election and who voted against the Medicare bill. The AARP has lobbied
heavily as well, and today they have specifically called on their members to
call Senator Cornyn of Texas because they've heard he may be considering the
options.

The toll-free AARP hotline is 1-800-480-4354, but you must enter your phone
number and zip code to be connected to the senator from your state. I just tried
it and used a Texas zip code of 75225. Another one is 77098.

Also if you live in any of the following states whose senators voted against the
bill, you can use the same toll-free number and type in your real zip code.

Nay votes by state:

Alabama: Sessions and Shelby

Arizona: Kyl
(McCain didn't vote - should call him and encourage him to show up and vote
yes!)

Colorado: Allard

Florida: Martinez

Georgia: Chambliss and Isakson

Idaho: Craig and Crapo

Indiana: Lugar

Iowa: Grassley

Kansas: Brownback

Kentucky: Bunning and McConnell

Louisiana: Vitter

Mississippi: Cochran and Wicker

Missouri: Bond

Nebraska: Hagel

Nevada: Ensign and Reid

New Hampshire: Gregg and Sununu

New Mexico: Domenici

North Carolina: Burr

Oklahoma: Coburn and Inhofe

Pennsylvania: Specter

South Carolina: Graham and DeMint

South Dakota: Thune

Tennessee: Alexander and Corker

Texas: Cornyn and Hutchison

Utah: Bennett and Hatch

Virginia: Warner

Wyoming: Barrasso and Enzi

I presume the offices have answering machines after hours, but I don't know that
for sure - so whenever you get this, please make the call.
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: BeautifulPlumage Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22622 of 24974
Subject: Re: Please call your 'R' Senator Date: 7/8/2008 8:24 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 4
sounds like a good bill to vote AGAINST, not for, but what do I know... BP

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sano Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22624 of 24974
Subject: Re: Please call your 'R' Senator Date: 7/9/2008 9:29 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
My wife and I are in the fight of my life against lymphoma, a kind of cancer that is currently incurable.

We have been working hard with Lymphoma/Leukemia organizations to keep medicare reimbursement for RIT's, new and promising cancer treatments (RIT = radio immune therapy, a radio labeled monoclonal antibody) at realistic levels.

There is language in medicare funding that if a therapy is not provided to medicare patients in a hospital that receives medicare funding, then it cannot be offered to anybody, or the hospital will lose all funding.

This means we would not even be able to buy the RIT that may save my wife's life for another 10 years.

Short of changing the medicare laws to allow hospitals to offer treatments whether or not medicare patients have access to them (controversial, eh?) I want the stuff to stay available.

If we can afford to fund subsidize ethanol, we can afford to reimburse hospitals the cost of radio-immune therapies.

sano

Print the post Back To Top
Author: BeautifulPlumage Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22627 of 24974
Subject: Re: Please call your 'R' Senator Date: 7/9/2008 4:04 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 3
Do these RITs really work? Usually, approval requires evidence of effectiveness (and safety). Medicare should not finance drugs which have not shown effectiveness and safety, although I agree with you they should be available to patients who can afford them and have been told about their limits.

The fact that there is a bizarre law which prevents hospitals from selling treatments that are not on the Medicare list is not an adequate reason, IMO, to approve all new treatments. Why not lobby to change the bizarre law, instead?

Regards, BP, and good luck to you

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sano Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22628 of 24974
Subject: Re: Please call your 'R' Senator Date: 7/9/2008 10:28 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
Do these RITs really work? ... Usually, approval requires evidence of effectiveness (and safety). Medicare should not finance drugs which have not shown effectiveness and safety,

Zevalin and Bexxar? They are completely approved and they work really well.

Oncs have been slow to prescribe RITs because they can't administer the stuff in office; the patient has to be referred to a facility with a nuclear med dept.

It's just starting to catch on as a really good frontline treatment....but if Medicare won't reimburse the real cost, nobody gets it. That would be a real shame. I know a lot of folks with lymphoma in their prime who dread each treatment they must endure, but thankful that something as effective and easily tolerated as RIT is out there.

Cancer sucks, but it would suck even more if the 'good stuff' goes off market before we even learn about its most efficacious applications.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibritumomab_tiuxetan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bexxar

I know a bunch of folks who have done both, and compared to CHOP, RIT is a cakewalk.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Lynton Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22629 of 24974
Subject: Re: Please call your 'R' Senator Date: 7/10/2008 12:49 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/07/business/07drug.html?_r=1&...

An article on RIT and troubles with reimbursement.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/14/health/14lymphoma.html?scp...

An article on RITs and why even though they seem to be more effective than standard therapies, doctors don't seem to be using due to reimbursement issues. Regular chemo plus "vitamin R" seem to be much more lucrative and therefore more prescribed.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sano Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22630 of 24974
Subject: Re: Please call your 'R' Senator Date: 7/10/2008 8:49 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 3
Regular chemo plus "vitamin R" seem to be much more lucrative and therefore more prescribed.

Every lymphoma chat group has discussed this repeatedly and buried into the subliminal recesses of our minds. We hate to think about it because (I think) it implies a greediness among Oncs that we prefer to pretend does not exist.

I cling to the (naive?) belief that if an Onc could not provide a good treatment in his own infusion center, he would put our best interests first, and would not hesitate to send us to a capable facility. Doesn't matter if it was a SCT ro RIT... he'd send us.

NEWS FLASH - The medicare bill passed, and with it, the extension for RIT payments. I've no doubt there are line items I would have objected to within it volumes. It is unfortunate that so many things are bundled in a huge bill, but that's the way it is.

sano

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFHelical Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22631 of 24974
Subject: Re: Please call your 'R' Senator Date: 7/10/2008 9:11 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0

NEWS FLASH - The medicare bill passed, and with it, the extension for RIT payments.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NWE-YEdZXY

Like him or not, if you are not moved by this moment there is something wrong with you.

Ailing Kennedy helps win passage of Medicare bill

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2008/0...

TMF ∞

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sano Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22632 of 24974
Subject: Re: Please call your 'R' Senator Date: 7/10/2008 9:12 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
From an investment standpoint, RIT's are not moneymakers because they are not widely prescribed. Rituxan remains the monster drug of choice. It's labeling continues to grow.

Zevalin got sold to CTIC by the company that developed and owns Rituxan.

As it's use grows, the impact of Zevalin on its bottom line should grow. Anybody think CTIC could/should pop on this?


CTI purchased the U.S. sales, marketing, and development rights to Zevalin in late 2007 from Biogen Idec, Inc. Recently CTI reached an agreement with Bayer Schering Pharma, which has rights to Zevalin outside the United States, for access to pivotal trial data from the First-line Indolent Trial (FIT), which can potentially be used to expand the label in the U.S.


Another potential drug growth story concerns the use of GM-CSF aka sargramostim, brand name Leukine, as an adjuvant to Rituxan. It's getting a lot of buzz in lymphoma circles becasue recent phase 1 trials indicating longer remisssions in a higher percentage of Rituxan users.

Leukine is simple to administer (a quick sub-cutaneous injection like a flu shot), well tolerated, and relatively cheap.

Bayer owns Leukine, so it's impact wouldn't be as profound as could be Zevalin for CTIC.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFHelical Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22659 of 24974
Subject: Re: Please call your 'R' Senator Date: 7/19/2008 12:59 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Some commentary in the recent New England Journal of Medicine on the recent vote in congress.

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/NEJMp0805760v2.pdf
(free, may need registration)

It doesn't talk about RIT, but the reimbursement policy and costs of the Medicare Advantage program that drove the veto and the consequent overturn.

I like this policy stuff. I just can't bring myself to consider public health care insurance companies for investment, despite how cheap the stocks have become.

TMFHelical
Community Analyst Team

Print the post Back To Top
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (10) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Next Thread
Advertisement