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.
Almac Group saved some stellar news for the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago. The U.K. life sciences contract manufacturer said it validated a new diagnostic test that spots a subset of ovarian cancer patients with greater survival odds following standard chemotherapy who should avoid a specific Roche drug.
When it comes to selling big, cancer drugs have a lot going for them. Their targets--deadly diseases that in many cases can kill quickly--put them in high demand, even as they continue to redefine...
First it was Italy, then it was France, and now the European Union is stepping up to take a serious look at how Swiss drugmakers Roche and Novartis have handled the marketing of their eye drug Lucentis.
The FDA more than a year ago warned cancer docs that it had discovered a counterfeit of Roche's Avastin being shipped from a supplier in New York. Now authorities have come down hard on the owners of the company, indicting them on 73 counts for selling more than $17 million worth of fake or unapproved drugs.
The French Competition Authority has stepped up its probe of potential Lucentis price-fixing. As The Times of London reports, the antitrust regulators said they raided local offices of Roche and Novartis, looking for evidence of collusion.