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The Lucentis/Avastin story is going to get more complicated as the year goes on. Next month the results of a head-to-head study of the two drugs (one far less costly than the other) in cases of macular degeneration will be revealed, and it's widely thought that they'll come up as basically equivalent in efficacy.

But as this Wall Street Journal article makes clear, they may not be equal in safely. The same meeting that will see the trial results presented will also feature an analysis of Medicare claims for both drugs, which looks like it'll show that Lucentis has a better safety profile. This is exactly what Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY) and Genentech would like to hear, naturally. We'll have to wait until May to see which message wins out ...

Disclosure: None.

Source: Update on Avastin and Lucentis