Tags: eye | drug | avastin | lucentis

Cheaper Eye Drug Riskier

Thursday, 21 Jun 2012 11:45 AM




A new comparison of two eye drugs commonly used to treat a leading cause of blindness in seniors has found the cheaper one carries a far greater risk of inflammation and, potentially, vision loss.
The study, by Queen's University researchers in Canada, found Avastin had a 12-fold increase in the risk of developing severe inflammation, compared to Lucentis, the other drug used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The researchers studied more than 1,600 injections of the two drugs, to reach their conclusions.
"This is a very important finding," said lead researcher Sanjay Sharma, and AMD expert who also practices at Hotel Dieu Hospital. "It is particularly important because many seniors need numerous injections so the risk is cumulative."
AMD is one of the most common causes of vision loss in people 50 and older. It is linked to depression, falls and higher rates of nursing home admissions.
The new study is based on a comparison of patients who received injections of the two drugs. Patients receiving the cheaper drug – which costs one-tenth the price of the more expensive medication -- had a 12 times greater risk of serious eye inflammation and some patients also lost their sight, according to the study.

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A comparison of two eye drugs finds the more expensive one to be safer.
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Thursday, 21 Jun 2012 11:45 AM
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