Patients and Insurers Accuse Genentech of Exploiting Cancer Patients

March 7, 2019

A class action lawsuit filed in California claims Genentech took advantage of cancer patients by packaging oncology drugs in oversized vials.

The suit, filed in San Mateo Superior Court, claims that the Roche subsidiary packages some of its most expensive drugs intentionally to “maximize waste.” The complaint notes that the drugs — such as Rituxan (rituximab) and Avastin (bevacizumab)  — cannot be safely stored after first use and their remaining contents must be thrown out, resulting in patients paying for drugs they can’t use completely.

"Genentech needs to be held accountable for taking advantage of some of the sickest people in our country just so it can increase revenue,” said Mike Arias, an attorney for the plaintiffs, who claimed the drugmaker “gouges them for drugs the company knows the patient will never use.”

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