Genentech raises price of cancer drug Tarceva

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tarcevaBOSTON (Reuters) - Biotechnology company Genentech Inc.  has raised the price of its cancer drug Tarceva by 8 percent in the United States, according to a regulatory filing.

Genentech raised the wholesale price of Tarceva -- which is approved to treat lung and pancreatic cancer -- to $2,893.86 from $2,679.50 for a 30-day supply of 150 milligram tablets, according to a document filed on Tuesday by Genentech's partner, OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The increase comes amid growing concern among doctors, governments and insurers about the cost to consumers of the newest generation of cancer drugs, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year.
On Monday, Genentech's majority shareholder, Roche Holding AG , said Britain's state health service declined to recommend Tarceva, saying it was not cost-effective.

Roche markets the drug in Europe and Genentech markets it in the United States. OSI receives royalties.

OSI said Genentech will now price a 30-day supply of the 100 milligram dose of Tarceva at $2,558.52, up from $2,369.00, while the price for the 25 milligram dose will rise to $931.50 from $862.50.

The price increase is effective immediately.

© Reuters 2006