On Tuesday, an advisory committee recommended that the FDA revoke approval of the drug Avastin as a treatment for breast cancer, stating the drug is not effective in helping patients.
Avastin is now the world's best-selling cancer drug, with global sales of approximately $6 billion last year. The product has occasionally been hailed as a near miracle, as it is the first medicine to block blood flow to tumors. The 12 to 1 vote against Avastin, however, is a setback for the drug.
Avastin will remain on the market regardless of the FDA's decision, as it is also used as treatment for colon, lung, kidney, and brain cancers. Accordingly, doctors would still be able to use it as treatment for breast cancer; insurers, however, might be reluctant to pay for unapproved use.