BEVACIZUMAB (Avastin) and ranibizumab (Lucentis) are equally effective in treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD), new research from the US National Institutes of Health shows.

The highly anticipated first-year results of the 2-year randomised trial, published online in the New England Journal of Medicine,  found that patients had almost identical visual acuity improvements when they received either drug on a monthly basis.

Improvements were also almost equivalent when the drugs were administered on an “as needed” basis – within one letter difference on an eye chart. Although bevacizumab is much cheaper than ranibizumab, it is not currently licensed for AMD on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Posted 2 May 2011

One thought on “No difference between AMD drugs

  1. Icanseeclearlynow says:

    If ever any government, such as ours in Australia (see article by Jennings et al in MJA 02/05/2011 – wanted to see the benefits of publicly funded clinical (or post-marketing outcomes) research then this is an illuminating example. This study will help to save vast amounts of public health dollars, with equivalent outcomes, by showing what many have long suspected about Genentech’s cheaper Avastin alternative to its very expensive Lucentis. This study, emphasising these results, was never going to be done or endorsed by industry.

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