Evidently Advent Day 4: best health evidence wrapped up for the festive season!

Now can Cinderella go to the (eye)ball?

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So what’s the story here?

The Fairy Godmother and team at Cochrane Eyes and Vision have recently published evidence showing that the drug bevacizumab (Avastin®) has a similar safety profile to Ranibizumab (Lucentis®) in the treatment of the common eye condition age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and would save the NHS vast sums of money if it was licensed for this use.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has now called on UK regulatory bodies to review and appraise use of bevacizumab for use in AMD treatment. In a BMJ editorial, they state that:

“In this unprecedented situation, either the regulators must find a way to license a drug without the sponsorship of the company that owns it or NICE must find a way to consider an off-label drug that is not being submitted for appraisal by its owners. Bevacizumab could then be used routinely in the UK saving the NHS millions of pounds a year.”

We’re looking for a happy ending.

You can find out more from the links below.

Illustration by Robbie Dawson. Thanks Robbie!

Evidently Cochrane has been shortlisted as one of the top 10 health organization blogs in the UK Blog Awards 2015! Do explore the site – we hope there are blogs here to interest everyone. You can also follow us – and talk to us – on Twitter @ukcochranecentr and @SarahChapman30

Links:

Royal College of Ophthalmologists. RCOphth calls for review of Avastin for use in AMD treatment. News. Royal College of Ophthalmologists. 19 November 2014. Web. http://www.rcophth.ac.uk/news.asp?itemid=1728&itemTitle=RCOphth+calls+for+review+of+Avastin+for+use+in+AMD+treatment&section=24&sectionTitle=News

Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Press Room [online]. 2014. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists recommends UK regulatory bodies appraise the use of bevacizumab for age related macular degeneration potentially saving the NHS over £100million a year [press release]. 19 November 2014. Available from: http://www.rcophth.ac.uk/core/core_picker/download.asp?id=2218

Lotery A, MacEwen C. What is stopping the NHS from using bevacizumab for macular degeneration and other retinal disorders? BMJ 2014;349:g6887 doi: 10.1136/bmj.g6887. Available from: http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6887

Evidently Cochrane blog: http://www.evidentlycochrane.net/shopping-health-reliable-evidence-supports-patient-purse/

Moja L, Lucenteforte E, Kwag KH, Bertele V, Campomori A, Chakravarthy U, D’Amico R, Dickersin K, Kodjikian L, Lindsley K, Loke Y, Maguire M, Martin DF, Mugelli A, Mühlbauer B, Püntmann I, Reeves B, Rogers C, Schmucker C, Subramanian ML, Virgili G. Systemic safety of bevacizumab versus ranibizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD011230. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011230.pub2 – See more at: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD011230/EYES_systemic-whole-body-safety-of-bevacizumab-versus-ranibizumab-for-neovascular-age-related-macular-degeneration#sthash.Rln08Brn.dpuf

Formoso G, Marata AM, Magrini N, Bero L. A clearer view of evidence in treating macular degeneration: off-label policies and independent research [editorial]. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014;(9):ED000090

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Sarah Chapman

About Sarah Chapman

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Sarah’s work as a Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK focuses on disseminating Cochrane evidence through social media, including Evidently Cochrane blogs, blogshots and the ‘Evidence for Everyday’ series for nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and patients.

A former registered general nurse, Sarah has a particular interest making evidence accessible and useful to practitioners and to others making decisions about health. Before joining Cochrane, Sarah also worked on systematic reviews for the University of Oxford and the Royal College of Nursing Institute, and obtained degrees in History from the University of Oxford and in the history of women’s health and illness in early modern England (MPhil., University of Reading).

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