Medicare will keep covering Roche's Avastin-CMS

WASHINGTON, June 30 Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:08pm EDT

WASHINGTON, June 30 (Reuters) - Medicare will continue coverage of Roche Holdings' (ROG.VX) drug Avastin for breast cancer regardless of what U.S. health regulators decide about the medicine, a spokesperson for the U.S. health insurer said.

"The FDA decision, when it comes, does not affect CMS," Don McLeod, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), said on Thursday.

"The drug will still be on the market, doctors will still be prescribing it, and we will continue to pay for it," he said, adding that CMS often pays for off-label uses of drugs. (Reporting by Anna Yukhananov and Alina Selyukh; editing by Derek Caney)

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