1 June 2016
World Health Organisation rejects expensive licensed drug Lucentis to be added to list for all countries in favour of much cheaper Avastin, not yet available in UK.
All countries should make available a cheap, unlicensed drug to prevent blindness in older people – one in preference to the expensive licensed version promoted by pharmaceutical companies, a World Health Organisation committee has ruled.
The WHO’s essential medicines committee has rejected an application from Novartis to have the expensive licensed drug Lucentis added to the list of drugs all countries should stock (PDF). The decision is a blow for the pharmaceutical companies that have been fighting the growing use of Avastin for age-related wet macular degeneration. Avastin, primarily a bowel cancer drug, is similar to Lucentis but 40 times cheaper when split into the tiny doses to be injected in the eye.
For the full story please go to: Guardian Avastin
This was in response to a Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group review on Avastin® versus Lucentis® read the discussion here: Cochraine Eyes Dsicussion