Have Questions? Call Us Toll Free (877) 880-5251

Cases of blindness reported after Avastin injections

Health authorities in Florida and Tennessee report that at least 16 people have gotten severe eye infections and some have been blinded after receiving Avastin injections. Avastin has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat cancer but many retina specialists use Avastin off label to treat the wet form of age-related macular degeneration. Avastin has been shown to be an effective treatment and it is a much cheaper treatment option at only $50 per dose compared to the approved treatment, Lucentis, at $2,000 a dose. When Avastin is used for eye injections, the vial is divided into several tiny doses and this repackaging increases the risk for bacterial contamination which is what has happened in these reported cases. The practice of using Avastin injections began in 2005 and these are the first reported problems. A recent clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute reported that Avastin and Lucentis were equally effective in treating wet age-related macular degeneration.* Elise Ervin Staff Writer

Search VisiVite