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