Age-related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of visual impairment among older adults in developed countries.
Treatment options are limited. Dr Teye-Botchway’s application to have the drug Avastin® used in Bermuda for the treatment of macular degeneration was recently upheld by the Chief Medical Officer, and the Pharmacy/Therapeutics
Avastin is a drug used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is also used to treat diabetic eye disease and other problems of the retina. It is injected into the eye to help slow vision loss from these diseases.
Avastin is the brand name for the drug, which is called bevacizumab. It blocks the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the back of the eye. Those blood vessels can leak and affect vision, causing vision loss from wet AMD and diabetic eye disease.
Avastin was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat different types of cancer. Its use to treat eye disease is considered an “off-label” use. The FDA allows “off-label” drug use if doctors are well informed about the product and studies prove the drug is helpful.
Lucentis® (ranibizumab) is another drug like Avastin. Research shows that both Avastin and Lucentis are equally effective in slowing vision loss.