Last week, it was priority review for cervical cancer. This week, it's the fast track for difficult-to-treat ovarian cancer.
Last week, it was priority review for cervical cancer. This week, it's the fast track for difficult-to-treat ovarian cancer. That's the record for Roche's Avastin, which is now up for quick FDA approval of two new indications.
Roche's cancer blockbuster Avastin has yet another shot at boosting sales. The FDA put Avastin up for priority review in cervical cancer, with a decision date of Oct. 24.
When it comes to expanding Avastin into new cancer territories, Roche has a win-some, lose-some record. Now, Roche is closer to adding cervical cancer to its arsenal of indications in the U.S.
Roche's Avastin is often prescribed off label as a cheaper alternative to its Lucentis for treating wet age-related macular degeneration. Now French lawmakers are encouraging the practice as a way to save the country money.
In June, the Italian government said it would pay for Roche's cancer drug Avastin to be used to treat a blinding eye disease, in place of the company's far more expensive eye drug Lucentis. Now, France is following Italy's lead.
The EU Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) handed down a positive ruling on Roche's blockbuster Avastin, recommending that the European Commission approve the drug for use in women with ovarian cancer that's resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy.
In the U.S. pushing drugs for unapproved uses has gotten companies into big trouble. In Italy, the opposite is now true. To save money, the government will pay for patients to be treated for an eye disease with Roche's Avastin, a drug not approved for that use, and has taken legal action against the Swiss drugmaker and marketing partner Novartis for steering physicians toward the pricier Lucentis, which is.
Authorities in Europe have added two Roche cancer drugs to their list of stolen meds that wholesalers and healthcare providers should be on the lookout for. That brings the tally to 5 drugs that the European Medicines Agency says should be closely examined for signs of tampering.
Doctors have long repurposed Roche's Avastin for the eye in place of using the company's pricier Lucentis to save money. Now, a study says the U.S. could save almost $3 billion a year if Medicare patients received the cheaper drug--a prospect Roche isn't so keen on.