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Use of cheaper eye drug would save billions, says US study

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4170 (Published 20 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g4170
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

If all eye doctors in the United States used the less expensive of the two drugs commonly used to treat neovascular age related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema, they could save US taxpayers and consumers tens of billions of dollars, a new study concludes.1

In both these conditions the swelling and bleeding resulting from the growth of abnormal retinal blood vessels lead to loss of vision. The conditions affect more than two million Americans and are a leading cause of blindness.

The two drugs, bevacizumab and ranibizumab, are both antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) agents, which, when injected into the eye, cause the abnormal retinal blood vessels to regress, halting or slowing disease …

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