Access to Healthcare Exemplified by Terry Kalley’s Fight Against FDA Ruling on Avastin that is keeping His Wife Alive

Kicking off his nationally syndicated “Neal Asbury’s Truth for America Show” on WZAB-AM, Neal Asbury opened the show by looking at the issue of access to healthcare through the story of Terry Kalley.  Kalley, a successful entrepreneur, has put his business on hold to urge the FDA to retain metastatic breast cancer (mbc) as an indication for the drug Avastin to keep his wife Arlene alive, who has mbc.

Kalley explained that the drug Avastin is a drug relied upon by an estimated 17,500 women with incurable mbc. Many women and their oncologists report great success with the drug, yet the FDA will remove the indication for mbc, subject to a final appeal by the drug’s manufacturer on June 28th & 29th at the FDA’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

“My wife’s life is at stake if this drug is taken off the market.  That’s why we have pursued a rehearing before the FDA for Avastin. I understand it is unprecedented for the FDA to consider an appeal on a drug,” said Kalley.

To push the issue and generate media coverage, Kalley has formed the
Freedom of Access to Medicines (, an organization dedicated to the right of women to retain Avastin as a medical option for mbc.

Kalley is particularly puzzled by the FDA’s ruling since Avastin is approved for several other types of cancers, but is being withdrawn only for mbc. What’s more, the European version of the FDA continues to approve Avastin for mbc.

One of the major problems that will occur if the FDA discontinues approval of Avastin for mbc, is that it will no longer be covered by most insurance companies.  The cost for Avastin for a year exceeds $100,000.  Kalley hopes that the FDA will carve out some sort of exemption for current patients or to secure coverage for current patients under Medicare or under private health insurance.

“I don’t understand how the FDA justifies their move, but it has to do with a tradeoff of risk vs. rewards.  But Avastin has few side effects that would put a patient at risk,” said Kalley.
Kalley is looking for people to join the Freedom of Access to Medicine movement and participate in a planned rally on June 28th when the FDA will review Avastin.

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