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Avastin for Eye Treatments Questioned Over Lawsuit Concerns

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Avastin, made by Genentech, is a cancer drug that commonly used to treat the wet form of age-related macular degeneration, and other types of eye disease. Many eye doctors turned to Avastin, because it costs around $50 per injection, whereas the drug Lucentis, also used for eye disease, costs around $2,000 a dose.

Recently however, some 21 cases regarding Avastin and patients losing some or all of their vision in the affected eye after treatments, have made physicians fearful of lawsuits. “Why would I want to risk my family to save America $1,950 a dose?” asked Dr. Robert Feig, a retina specialist in Brooklyn and the Bronx. So, even though he doesn’t want to, Dr. Feig has turned to treatments with the more expensive Lucentis, the New York Times reports.

The Department of Veteran Affairs has halted the use of Avastin while is reviews cases involving veterans, and the Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert announcing that 12 patients in Miami have suffered eye infections after being treated with Avastin.

A report by the Department of Health and Human Services issued last month estimated that in 2008 and 2009, Medicare paid $1.1 billion for 696,927 Lucentis injections, but only $40 million for 936,382 Avastin injections.

Clinical trials have shown that the rate of eye infections for both drugs is statistically the same, and the journal of Ophthalmology also published a study this month that showed very little statistical difference between the rates of infection for both drugs. disclaimer: This article: Avastin for Eye Treatments Questioned Over Lawsuit Concerns was posted on Monday, October 17th, 2011 at 7:53 pm at and is filed under Defective Drug Lawsuits.

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