Now can Cinderella go to the (eye)ball?
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 Refers to serious adverse effects, such as those that threaten life, require or prolong hospitalization, result in permanent disability, or cause birth defects. profile to Ranibizumab (Lucentis®) in the Something done with the aim of improving health or relieving suffering. For example, medicines, surgery, psychological and physical therapies, diet and exercise changes. 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!
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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§ion=24§ionTitle=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: https://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 In systematic reviews we search for and summarize studies that answer a specific research question (e.g. is paracetamol effective and safe for treating back pain?). The studies are identified, assessed, and summarized by using a systematic and predefined approach. They inform recommendations for healthcare and research. 2014;(9):ED000090