Wednesday, Feb 14, 2007
South San Francisco, Calif. -- February 14, 2007 --Genentech, Inc. (NYSE: DNA) today announced the expansion of its current patient assistance program, the Genentech Access to Care Foundation (GATCF), to help address the needs of financially eligible Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Part D who are prescribed Tarceva® (erlotinib).
The expansion allows financially eligible patients enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to receive assistance for Tarceva from Genentech — outside of their Part D plan. For more information on potential assistance options, please call (888) 249-4918 or visit http://www.SPOConline.com. Tarceva is a once-a-day pill approved for locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer after failure of at least one prior chemotherapy regimen, and in combination with gemcitabine chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of patients with locally advanced, unresectable or metastatic pancreatic cancer.
The expansion is designed to help financially needy patients enrolled in Medicare Part D plans, and it is part of Genentech's ongoing efforts to ensure that no patient goes without a Genentech therapy because of an inability to pay. This expansion is especially important for Part D enrollees who may be affected by the annual coverage gap, commonly referred to as the "doughnut hole." Under the standard Medicare plan, federal payments for drug purchases stop when total Part D drug spending reaches the limit of $2,400. At that point beneficiaries confront the doughnut hole and must pay 100 percent of costs until they have spent a total of $3,850 of their own money. The federal subsidy then resumes, paying 95 percent of any additional expenses.
"We are very pleased with the steps Genentech is taking to help some of the most vulnerable people with Medicare by ensuring they will be able to access the medicines they need," said Leslie V. Norwalk, Acting Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). "It's a win-win for patients: the benefits of drug coverage plus additional assistance from manufacturers for those most in need."
Under the GATCF expansion, eligible patients will receive Tarceva from GATCF for free. In order to ensure that a patient's Part D prescription drug plan does not incur the costs of Tarceva, Genentech worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to enter into a data sharing agreement, which will facilitate the notification of Part D plans whose patients have enrolled in the Tarceva GATCF expansion.
"There are many barriers to accessing cancer drug treatment that may affect patients, and Genentech is committed to developing tailored solutions to help address financial barriers. This agreement between Genentech and CMS is also an example of how government and industry can work together to meet patients' needs," said Alexander Hardy, Head of Reimbursement, Managed Care and Customer Operations at Genentech.
"This program represents an important step for patients who may otherwise be unable to follow their doctors' treatment recommendations," said Kim Thiboldeaux, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Wellness Community. "We commend Genentech's continued work towards ensuring access to necessary therapies."
About Genentech's Commitment to Patient Access
Genentech is committed to eligible patients having access to our therapies. For those eligible patients treated for approved indications in the United States who do not have insurance or who cannot afford their out-of-pocket co-pay costs, Genentech has several support programs. Since 1985, Genentech has donated free product to uninsured patients and those deemed uninsured due to payor denial through its Genentech® Access to Care Foundation (GATCF) and the Genentech Endowment for Cystic Fibrosis. In 2006 alone, GATCF supported over 14,000 patients by providing approximately $205 million of free product. Since 2005, Genentech has donated approximately $70 million to various independent public charities that provide financial assistance to eligible patients who cannot access needed medical treatment due to co-pay costs. Through its Single Point of Contact (SPOC) program, Genentech provides patients with assistance and information on a broad array of reimbursement services and support.
Founded more than 30 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures, and commercializes biotherapeutics for significant unmet medical needs. A considerable number of the currently approved biotechnology products originated from or are based on Genentech science. Genentech manufactures and commercializes multiple biotechnology products and licenses several additional products to other companies. The company has headquarters in South San Francisco, California and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DNA. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.