A fraud investigation has been undertaken in the Italian Offices of Medicine after allegations surfaced that the Swiss Pharmaceutical Company Novartis and Roche had attempted a market ploy to increase sales of their eye drug Lucentis by pausing off label use of it's market contemporary Avastin. As a result of these allegations separate investigations are already being undertaken by French and European Union officials. A huge fine has been given to the two Swiss counterparts that already totals just over two hundred and fifty million dollars. The investigation is focused on whether Novartis and Roche were colluding together to put Lucentis on the Italian formulary while excluding Avastin for treatment of the same conditions.Outside of the United States, the drug Lucentis is marketed by Novartis, and in Italy alone it costs the National health service there more than forty five million Euros ( and rising ) to supply it.A substitution of Avastin for Lucentis could save a sum of almost three billion dollars for the Americans.
Within the Unites States, Lucentis has already got FDA approval and insurance companies for health err towards the use of Lucentis for wet Age Related Macular Degeneratio.
Here at home, a discount was negotiated for supplies to Great Britain from Novartis
to fail safe the supply of Lucentis and use by eye doctors. Switzerland demanded and then got a Lucentis discount as well, after complaining of the big price difference between it and Avastin.