Study finds little difference between AMD drugs 240

The two-year results of the IVAN study published in July issue of the Lancet Journal suggested ranibizumab, more commonly known by the trade name Lucentis, and bevacizumab, also known as Avastin, have similar efficacy.
A reduction in the frequency of retreatment, a measure that might represent significant cost savings, resulted in a small loss of efficacy irrespective of drug during the study. The findings suggested that the cheaper drug, Avastin, currently not licensed for use in AMD treatment, might be a viable alternative to Lucentis which is licensed.
The study went onto say that “the choice of anti-VEGF treatment strategy is less straightforward than previously thought”.
Last year Lucentis manufacturer Novartis filed for a judicial review of Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth (SHIP) PCT Cluster Board’s policy on treating wet AMD, with ophthalmologists in the area able to prescribe Avastin for AMD patients after it was deed cost effective.
Novartis said at the time: “The intention of this action is to protect clinicians from being pressured to use a product, where adequate safety checks have not been undertaken, purely on the basis of cost and ensure that they rain able to prescribe in the best interests of their patients.”

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