Alphabet Soup - the Conclusion?
Basically, she and my oncologist both feel that the clinical study at basis for the negative reports on EPO drugs was flawed to begin with. The drugs were being administered to patients with "high normal" hemoglobin levels (in the 13-14 range), and at that level the drugs were, essentially, unnecessary. Certainly it is the practice of OSU and Cleveland Clinic to administer EPO drugs only when the patient's hemoglobin is below 12.
But the damage has already been done - once Medicare pulls out of funding use of this class of drugs for anemia, insurance companies are likely to follow suit. It will be up to oncologists individually to make the case for payment. As for those of us with renal cell carcinoma, the pharmacist assured me that the insurance report will be coded for "renal insufficiency" rather than for "renal cell carcinoma," so there should be no question but that it will be paid. Even knowing that it's probably paid for doesn't make the darned injection sting any less ...
Tree swallows are back! It must be spring at last!