Genentech denies knowledge of distribution-related problems
- Genentech claims that it was not aware that 88% of its hospital/customers have had to delay treatment for cancer patients, because Genentech shifted distribution away from wholesalers to specialty distributors.
- A recent survey found that when Genetech switched Avastin (bevacizumab), Herceptin (trastuzumab), and Rituxan (rituximab) to a specialty distribution channel it led to major disruptions for hospitals that rely on Genentech's oncology drugs.
- Genentech said that it set up a hotline for companies experiencing problems, but only knew of three related patient-access problems.
Although Genentech denies knowledge of their customers' distribution-related woes, the pressure is on. One major force in this battle is the hospital purchasing group, Novation, which has been working with member hospitals, such as Mayo Clinic and Memorial Sloan Kettering to exert pressure directly on Genentech with formal complaints—and also by reaching out to lawmakers.
The major issue is the additional expense associated with higher carrying costs of these drugs, which has resulted in a financial hit for 87% of survey respondents. Overall, the situation (which has been ongoing since October 2014) does not seem to be improving.