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Yet another health care provider is accusing Genentech of fudging the amount of the Herceptin medicine that the company provides in each vial, causing the facility and many other hospitals to overpay for the pricey treatment.

In the latest instance, the Comanche County Memorial Hospital filed a lawsuit alleging that Genentech, which is a unit of Roche, shortchanges hospitals by placing less of the breast cancer medication in vials, or alternatively, misrepresenting the amount of the drug that must be mixed in a solution. Under either scenario, the lawsuit contends providers would unnecessarily be forced to purchase additional vials.


Given that the drug has a limited shelf life, this can have an even greater financial impact on smaller hospitals or clinics that do not treat a large number of cancer patients, according to the lawsuit, which the Oklahoma hospital filed last week in federal court in San Francisco. Herceptin costs about $70,000 for a full year of weekly infusions, the hospital noted.

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