- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) - A panel of Medicare advisers says there is adequate evidence that a high-priced cancer drug from Dendreon increases survival in men with late-stage prostate cancer.

The vote by the 14-member panel of outside experts amounts to a recommendation that Medicare pay for Provenge, an innovative drug with a $93,000 price tag that has prompted controversy over health care costs.

A majority of panelists said they have “intermediate confidence” in Provenge’s benefit. Panelists expressed their confidence on a 1 to 5 scale.

Medicare officials will make a final decision on Provenge in March, and a positive ruling would make the drug available to tens of thousands of men diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.

Some cancer patients have petitioned against the agency’s review, saying the government should automatically pay for Provenge.

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