Navigation Links
Off-Label Avastin Use for Wet Macular Degeneration
Date:2/25/2008

Treatment Could Save Millions Their Sight

PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved Avastin for cancer of the colon and lungs. In off-label use, however, Avastin is proving itself as a "miracle drug" that's currently used by some doctors to treat other cancers, including breast, prostate, renal cell, head and neck, pancreatic, ovarian and hepatocellular.

Some ophthalmologists are also turning to Avastin for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in people over 50 years old. Wet AMD is a growing concern for aging adults. There are 200,000 new cases of the disease every year and experts project the number will increase rapidly as baby boomers age and their life expectancy increases. Experts estimate 6.3 million people will lose their vision to wet AMD by 2030. They also predict the disease will cost half a million people their sight each year.

In wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow at the back of the eye and leak blood and fluids into the macula, the central part of the retina. Like a high-definition digital camera, the eye's macula picks up fine-grained pictures so you can see their detail. Untreated wet AMD rapidly causes rapid vision loss and without the macula you cannot read fine print, recognize faces or drive.

"Because wet AMD is a devastating disease that progresses swiftly, ophthalmologists want to treat it immediately," explains Dr. Skip Freedman, executive medical director at AllMed Healthcare Management, a leading independent review organization (IRO). "And there is strong medical evidence that Avastin and Luncentis are the most effective treatment for wet AMD today."

According to Freedman, both drugs bind and inactivate the growth of blood vessels in the macula. In 2006, the FDA approved Genentech's Luncentis for wet AMD. However, because Genentech researchers derived both Luncentis and Avastin from the same monoclonal antibody, a substance that can find and bind to cancer cells anywhere in the body, some ophthalmologists began using Avastin. At about $2,000 a dose for Luncentis and about $50 for Avastin, they saw them as an equal, but Avastin as a more cost-effective treatment.

Genentech claims it is concerned about public safety and believes that compounding Avastin might increase the risk of eye infections during treatment. The company also says that because Avastin is a much larger protein, it may not be as efficacious as Lucentis. However, ophthalmologists currently have reported no contamination issues or increased eye infections using Avastin instead of Lucentis. The National Eye Institute is conducting a study comparing the safety and efficacy of Avastin and Lucentis. However, Genentech declined taking part in it, saying it is unnecessary and potentially too costly. Early results of this comparison are expected to be available in 2009.

Today ophthalmologists consider Avastin and Lucentis equivalent treatments. Both are superior to others available and are the standard of care for wet AMD. Most states have started coverage for Avastin injections into the eye. Nationally, the use of Avastin instead of Lucentis to treat wet AMD could potentially save several billion dollars a year.

"Healthcare insurers need to consider working with independent review organizations to decide the right balance of treatment cost versus efficacy," said Dr. Freedman. "The case of whether ophthalmologists should use Avastin or Lucentis to treat wet AMD is just one example of how medical knowledge about drugs is changing more rapidly than health insurers can keep up. To contain healthcare costs, insurers must consider the medical necessity of a drug, as well as the lowest possible treatment cost for both its on- and off-label use to deliver patients cost-effective treatments that work."

For more information on leading-edge treatments and their medical necessity check out http://www.allmedmd.com/peerpoints/cuttingedge/cutting_edge_email.htm. To find out more about the review services IROs offer go to AllMed's Website at http://www.allmedmd.com.


'/>"/>
SOURCE AllMed Healthcare Management
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Study looks at off-label use of biliary stents
2. FDA Panel Says No to Avastin for Advanced Breast Cancer
3. Taxol with avastin produces noteworthy results
4. Many More Patients Can Now Benefit from Avastins Proven Survival Benefits
5. Despite Oncologists Willingness to Prescribe Avastin for Treatment of Breast Cancer, the FDA is Likely to Rule Against the Product on February 23
6. In Combination With FOLFOX4, the Effect of Erbitux and Avastin On Survival Rates Will Drive Prescription Decisions in the Treatment of Stage III Colon Cancer
7. FDA OKs Avastin for Advanced Breast Cancer
8. $37 million financing for company based on macular degeneration research
9. Model to study age-related macular degeneration could pave way for better treatment
10. Optherion Licenses Worldwide Rights to Develop Age-Related Macular Degeneration Diagnostics Based on Chromosome 10 Genetic Variations
11. Neurotech Announces Completion of Enrollment of its Phase II/III Retinitis Pigmentosa and Phase II Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration Clinical Studies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/21/2017)... , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... announced an exciting new partnership with the highly regarded and well renowned Asian ... highly innovative, myTAP & myTAP PAP Nasal Pillow Mask, and will stabilize and ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... MD (PRWEB) , ... April ... ... accreditation organization promoting quality-based imaging practices, is seeking candidates to serve on ... for diagnostic imaging. , “RadSite’s ultimate mission is improving image quality ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... , ... Westside Dental Associates and its owner, Dr. Les Latner, ... Dr. Latner has become one of the Los Angeles area’s premier dentists. “It’s been ... all their dental needs,” said Dr. Latner, who was recently named Chairperson of the ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... During April 21-23, Super-Sod will join ... This festival offers entertainment for everyone — from the avid gardener to the landscape ... very high quality event held in a grand venue, and we are certainly looking ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Indiana Fiber Network, LLC (IFN), ... service to Tele-Media Solutions. IFN is delivering Multi-Gigabit data rates as an ... Solution’s protect transport with 3GB Dual Access Internet access now available in their ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/18/2017)...  Astute Medical, Inc., developer of biomarkers for better ... at the 2017 National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Spring ... April 22. Physicians will present data on two biomarkers, ... for acute kidney injury (AKI) during the management of ... Elevated levels of TIMP-2 and IGFBP-7 have been ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017 Research and ... the United States Molecular Imaging Equipment and Radiopharmaceuticals Market, Forecast ... ... molecular imaging equipment revenues as well as growth in the ... will provide value to market participants that design and manufacture ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... TAMPA, Fla. , April 18, 2017 WellCare ... Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), announced today it will award ... Kentucky to reduce tobacco use and promote smoke-free ... Center for Smoke-Free Policy conference hosted by the University of ... first time WellCare, the state,s largest Medicaid managed care organization, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: