Avastin Press Statement
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Dec. 20, 2007-Genentech, in collaboration with the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS), is pleased to provide an update on our joint efforts to address physician questions about access to Avastin® (bevacizumab) after Genentech's January 1, 2008 change to the distribution of the product.
Since October, when Genentech announced it would no longer allow compounding pharmacies to purchase Avastin directly from authorized wholesale distributors, we have partnered with the AAO and ASRS to understand physicians' needs related to their ongoing access to Avastin.
We are pleased with our collaboration and progress to date. Working together, we have determined that physicians can prescribe Avastin and purchase it directly from authorized wholesale distributors and wholesalers can ship to the destination of the physician's choice, including to hospital pharmacies, compounding pharmacies or directly to the physician's office. This process is one that the AAO and ASRS believe addresses the needs of their members. It is a significant step forward, reflecting the collaborative approach of Genentech and AAO and ASRS leadership.
Genentech continues to believe LUCENTIS® (ranibizumab injection) is the most appropriate treatment for patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) because it was specifically designed, formally studied, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and manufactured for intraocular delivery for the treatment of wet AMD. At the same time, Genentech does not interfere with physicians' prescribing choices and believes that physicians should be able to prescribe the treatment they believe is most appropriate for their patients.
We also remain committed to ensuring that eligible patients have access to Lucentis regardless of their ability to pay. Therefore, Genentech, the AAO and ASRS are working together to develop additional programs that will more efficiently facilitate and expedite patient access and physician reimbursement for Lucentis. Updates on our progress will be provided in early 2008. In the meantime, physicians or patients who have questions related to access and reimbursement services offered by Genentech can call 1-866-724-9394.
We would like to thank the AAO and ASRS for their leadership and collaboration over the past several months. We are encouraged by our progress to date and look forward to continuing our efforts with the common goal of helping patients with potentially blinding diseases.
Posted: December 2007