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Launching Avastin

Executive Summary

Genentech Inc.'s launched three major drugs in nine months, two in therapeutic areas new to it and the third in a new drug class. The latter, Avastin, is an oncology drug which stifles growth of tumors by cutting off their blood supply. Sales have exceeded expectations.The very high cost isn't likely deter use--even as payers scrutinize oncology costs more seriously--because of the solid trial data and political sensitivities inherent in rationing drugs for terminally ill patients.

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