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Minister rules out use of Avastin over Lucentis for wet AMD

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h2050 (Published 16 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2050
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1The BMJ

A UK government minister has ruled that it is illegal and against the wider public interest to use the cheaper drug bevacizumab (Avastin) to treat wet age related macular degeneration (AMD) instead of the more expensive ranibizumab (Lucentis).

However, a barrister with expertise in healthcare law has criticised the ruling as “confused and illogical” and that the minister is acting outside his remit.

In February 120 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) wrote to the General Medical Council, the Department of Health, and NHS England calling for a resolution over the impasse about whether doctors could or could not use the cheaper drug.1 The clinical leaders described the current situation as “untenable” and said that using bevacizumab instead of ranibizumab could release £102m (€140m; $150m) a …

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