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Senator says he will examine Avastin pricing by Genentech

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WASHINGTON Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., has said that the biotech company Genentech’s plan to limit the availability of Avastin, which is used for the treatment of colorectal cancer, will cost taxpayers $1 billion to $3 billion per year, according to TheNewYorkTimes.

The company is restricting the availability of the drug so that doctors will have to use their more expensive medication, Lucentis. The drugs are chemically similar and since the price difference is so great, doctors have been using the cheaper Avastin.

Kohl said in letters to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration that Genentech’s decision to limit access to the medicine by pharmacies that repackage drugs “is of great concern.”

He also sent the company a letter saying that his staff would investigate the restrictions.

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