An analysis done by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service on the prostate cancer drug Provenge shows that the drug offers moderate level of help to the patient for the price it involves.

The assessment was done by a technology evaluation group at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association under contract to the government’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The controversial report shows that Provenge which costs $93,000 per patient extends lives by four months in clinical trials. This may prove to be too expensive for Medicare to support.

Provenge is the first therapeutic cancer vaccine approved by FDA developed by Dendreon, a Seattle-based biotechnology company. The treatment is customized and made specifically for each patient from his own blood. However since Medicare put across the price factor in its debate over paying for Provenge, many cancer patients, doctors and investors are worried that through this the government is showing its reluctance in paying for high priced medicines.

The Association of Community Cancer Centers has submitted a comment to the CMS about how this can stifle research and development in anticancer drug development and hurt access to anticancer chemotherapeutic regimen. However some feel that healthcare system should not be burdened to pay for expensive drug. But Medicare puts forth the point that this review is designed more to limit off-label usage of expensive drugs.