NHS Eye Treatment in UK

This sounds an interesting step forward…

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Avastin - or Bevacizumab is an antibody - a complex protein with a specific 3D shape which chemically interacts with and blocks certain signals involved in the growth of new blood vessels - which is why it is useful in wet macular degeneration because it stops the growth of the small blood vessels that cause the problem.

Lucentis or Ranibizumab is a very similar antibody which acts in the same way. In fact it is almost the same drug as it is based on the same mouse antibody - one, important, difference is that it is licenced to treat WMD whereas Avastin is not. The company that makes Avastin never bothered to apply for a licence for WMD, presumably because of the cost in doing so and perhaps because it knew full well that it undercut Lucentis price wise and it was being prescribed to treat WMD anyway.

There has been an ongoing battle in the NHS to allow Avastin to be used “officially” even though, strictly speaking, it is an off-label use.

Looks like this has finally been settled in Avastin’s favour.