Distribution changes on cancer drugs

Beginning October 1, 2014, Avastin® (bevacizumab), Herceptin® (trastuzumab) and Rituxan® (rituximab) will only be available to hospitals and clinics through authorized specialty distributors.

This change primarily impacts how hospitals purchase these medicines.  Previously they were distributed to hospitals through authorized full-line wholesalers.

The change does not impact how physicians or authorized specialty pharmacies purchase Avastin, Herceptin and Rituxan. 

All of our infused cancer medicines will now be distributed through specialty distributors.  We believe this will best serve patient safety and patient access to these medicines, which have lengthy and complex manufacturing processes, and require special storage and handling.

Perjeta® (pertuzumab), Kadcyla® (ado-trastuzumab emtansine) and Gazyva® (obinutuzumab) are already distributed through this model, as are several medicines made by other manufacturers.

Genentech is committed to patient safety, to protecting the integrity of our medicines as they move through the supply chain, and to ensuring patients and healthcare professionals are able to access our medicines when they need them.

As part of this commitment, we regularly assess our distribution models and work with our authorized distributors to ensure we utilize the most appropriate distribution for each of our medicines based on their unique characteristics.
With this change, we are maintaining our current distribution partners and utilizing their specialty distribution service.  A full list of authorized specialty distributors can be found at http://www.genentech-access.com/hcp/find-support-program/authorized-distributors.  By utilizing specialty distributors, which have specific expertise in distributing specialty medicines and fewer distribution centers, we are better able to manage supply and prevent disruption in patient access or treatment.  The number of distribution centers between Genentech's manufacturing facilities and hospitals or clinics is significantly reduced from more than 80 full-line distribution centers to approximately 5 specialty distribution centers. 

In addition to regularly assessing our distribution models, Roche and Genentech employ several other strategies to help ensure patient safety and access to our medicines when patients need them, and also to help protect patients from counterfeit medicines. 
• We work closely with suppliers and customers to secure our distribution channels.
• We are building systems that will allow our medicines to be identified and tracked as they move through the supply chain.
• We use special packaging and printing techniques, so that counterfeit medicines are harder to make and easier to detect.
• We provide patients and healthcare professionals with information to ensure they can safely access our medicines.

Charlotte Arnold
Associate Director, Corporate Relations
Office: 650-467-7694
Cell: 650-255-1909