The fight between Genentech and retinal specialists over the use of cheap Avastin in place of expensive Lucentis has been a nasty one. I’d heard several months back that the two sides had come to terms with one another. If the ad I heard on the radio today is any indication, they’ve definitely kissed and made up.
The ad was a pseudo-public service announcement regarding wet age-related macular degeneration. It described the symptoms and suggested that early diagnosis and treatment were the best course of action. The ad suggested people go in for testing if they had any concerns about this. The ad was sponsored by Genentech and the American Society of Retina Specialists. The mutual self-interest was pretty clear: more people seeking diagnoses means more business for retina specialists and early diagnosis of wet-AMD means more drug sales for Genentech. Presumably the retina specialists will appreciate the business boost from Genentech and be more likely to order up Lucentis instead of Avastin.January 12, 2009