The drug, Avastin is used by physicians as an off label alternative, especially if the other one is out of range for the patient's budget...and there's still the pending buy out from Roche still on the agenda amidst all of this. BD
WASHINGTON - What does a company do when there's anecdotal evidence that two of its drugs are equally effective in treating a leading cause of blindness in the elderly, one costing patients $60 per treatment and the other $2,000?
In the case of Genentech Inc., nothing.
The company declined to seek federal approval for the cheaper drug, Avastin, to treat the wet form of age-related macular degeneration. Nor would it help finance — or cooperate with — a National Eye Institute study comparing the effectiveness and safety of Avastin, a cancer drug, and the more expensive eye drug, Lucentis. "By fact that they didn't support the clinical study leads me to conclude that in reality there is no difference between the two drugs," Rosenfeld said. "The result is clearly not in Genentech's best interest."
Pellegrino said Genentech's pricing for Lucentis reflects the cost of developing the drug, which the FDA approved in June 2006. The development program included a clinical trial involving more than 6,000 patients at a cost of more than $45,000 a patient.