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Wedgewood Pharmacy Will Continue to Provide Avastin(R) to Ophthalmologists and Retinal Specialists
Date:1/21/2008

SWEDESBORO, N.J., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Wedgewood Pharmacy has announced that it will continue to provide Avastin(R) (Bevacizumab) to retinal specialists and ophthalmologists who request it for their patients. The announcement responds to Avastin's manufacturer, Genentech's, decision (http://www.lucentis.com/lucentis/pdf/announcement.pdf) to stop supplying Avastin directly to compounding pharmacies as of January 1.

Avastin is commonly administered by retinal specialists and ophthalmologists to treat age-related wet macular-degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Although regulators haven't authorized Avastin's use against eye disease, it is chemically similar to Genentech's new product, Lucentis(R), which is about 50 times as costly as Avastin. On prescriptive authority of physicians, compounding pharmacies prepare, under sterile laboratory conditions, a once-monthly dose of the drug for use in the eye that costs about $40.

At Wedgewood, technicians trained in aseptic technique prepare Avastin 25mg/ml in individual syringes in a Class-1000 clean room under a Class-100 laminar-flow hood to assure sterility and quality.

"Many retinal specialists consider the Avastin treatment option as an indispensable part of their practices," said George Malmberg, RPH, FACA, FACVP the pharmacist president and CEO of Wedgewood Pharmacy. "We will continue to meet the critical and ongoing need for Avastin in ophthalmologic practice. Unlike other firms, we do not require that our customers make a long-term contractual agreement to purchase this vital medicine from us."

Avastin is an FDA-approved drug that is used in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. Based on the pioneering work of Dr. Philip Rosenfeld, a professor of Ophthalmology at the world-renowned Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Avas
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