A Tale of Two Monoclonal Antibodies

A major problem has arisen regarding two monoclonal antibodies Lucentis [ranibizumab] and Avastin [bevacizumab]. Both products developed by Genentech are suitable for the treatment of wet AMD [age-related macular degeneration]. Lucentis but not Avastin has received FDA approval for wet AMD treatment although both drugs are equally effective. This would not matter so much if the price of both products were similar but in fact Lucentis costs more than $2,000 per treatment compared with Avastin at $150. Most health providers, ophthalmologists and patients are aghast at the high price differential in favour of Lucentis. The licensing authorities have indicated however that lower-priced unlicensed Avastin would be permitted provided it is prescribed by the patient’s physician. This differentiation between two monoclonal antibodies is resulting in great hardship to patienst who can not afford the very price of Lucentis.

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48 Portland Place, London W1B 1NG,
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phone: +44 20 7631 3194
email: lhepner@probio.com