Both Are Roche's Drugs, But Which One Could Save The U.S. $3 Billion?

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The U.S. could save almost $3 billion a year if Medicare patients were given Avastin instead of Lucentis to treat two diseases that could lead to blindness, according to a study in the journal Health Affairs. Both treatments are made by Basel, Switzerland-based Roche Holding AG, and work similarly in treating neovascular age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema by targeting the retinal bleeding and swelling that’s the leading cause of blindness in older Americans. Lucentis, though, costs more than $2,000 per dose, or 40 times more than Avastin. Treatments for these eye diseases account for about one-sixth of the Medicare Part B budget, according to the report.

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