Genentech is notifying ophthalmologists of a change to the distribution of Avastin (a cancer drug also being used to inhibit AMD associated retinal bleeds). Avastin sells for about $50 per dose vs. Lucentis, the new Ocular-specific version of Avastin being used in new AMD clinical studies, which we're told will cost the patient somewhere in the range of $2,000 per dose.
Beginning November 30th, the Lucentis compound must be ordered directly from Genentech, rather than purchased from a compounding pharmacy.
Both versions of this drug have been linked to increased risk of stroke.
The FDA and Genentech claim to be concerned about sterilization issues involved when compounding pharmacists divide Avastin into tiny portions for ocular use.