Genentech and Lucentis

LucentisI wrote this a while ago, but it is still amusing to me so here goes:

When we went to Optometry school many moons ago there was no treatment for Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). We would tell our patients that nothing could be done for their deteriorating vision. We would point them in the direction of orientation and mobility specialists. Boy, have things changed!

There are now medications FDA approved to treat wet AMD. Doctor Tafoya has treated many patients with these biologics. However, last month was my first experience with Genentech and their medication Lucentis. It has to be injected into your vitreous cavity by a specialist. One tiny vial must be kept refrigerated until used. It can not be shipped on the weekend. I had heard about the packaging and saw photos on their website, but really did not expect to see all of the detail involved in shipping this tiny vial.


The exterior box must have been a 24” cube. It had a good 2-3” insulated barrier to separate the inner cavity from the elements. As I removed the thick foam top, I could see layers and layers of gel ice packs. The two exterior layers were frozen solid. The innermost layer was very cold but still gel-like as the medication can not be frozen. It was like opening a very special gift. Within this well-packed cavity was yet another box. This box was packed full of packing peanuts. Low and behold as I dug into the packing peanuts I felt a small box. Eureka! A small box of Lucentis!


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