Drug War!!

Author: Rick Dunetz
June 12, 2008

Rick Dunetz
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Rick Dunetz

Executive Director at The Side-Out Foundation
Rick Dunetz is the founder and executive director of The Side-Out foundation. His passion for volleyball and his role as a coach led him to create the Foundation in honor of his mother, Gloria, who lived with breast cancer for six years.

Rick has coached volleyball in his local community for 15 years. Currently, he is the head coach of the Oakton girls freshman volleyball team and assistant coach for the girls varsity volleyball team in Vienna, Virginia.
Rick Dunetz
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It’s not difficult enough to have breast cancer but then to have to deal with the medical insurance company giving you a hard time about the drug that’s prescribed by your Doctor in order to prolong your life. It is cruel! Yet this is the medical system we are currently forced to deal with.

According to my Doctor, the insurance companies are way behind the curve when it comes to new drugs offered to patients. The Doctors we depend on are forced to make a winning case to the insurance companies to convince them to accept and pay for the drugs that their patients need to live. At the very least it is so frustrating for the patients to know a drug is working but then to be denied getting it because of cost. The Doctors are equally or more frustrated because they cannot offer their patients drugs that the insurance won’t cover and ultimately are not able to give the best possible treatment for the people whose lives are in their hands. HORRIFIC!

At present this is what is going on in my roller coaster Cancer ride. Two drugs have been targeted for my treatment called for in the report of the Molecular Profiling of my tumor. We have talked about the new technology of being able to recommend the drugs that will work on ones particular tumor profile The profiling indicated Abraxane in conjunction with Avastin would potentially work against the growth of my tumor’s particular genetic makeup. These 2 drugs were given to me and appear to be working from tumor marker results. Blue Cross/Shield has so far only paid for 3 treatments of Avastin and still have not paid for about 3 or 4 other treatments I have had. Consequently I was refused the treatment that appeared to be working to combat my cancer. The FDA just a few months ago approved Avastin for Breast Cancer but coming from the prospective of our medical insurance company Avastin is a very expensive drug so they need more proof that it is necessary in my care. IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT MONEY!

The case is still pending so keep tuned in. I had my PET scan today so perhaps we will have the proof we need that the drugs have been working.


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