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Avastin is as effective as Lucentis for wet AMD and could save NHS £84m a year, study shows

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 09 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3275
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

New trial results have confirmed that bevacizumab (Avastin) and ranibizumab (Lucentis) perform very similarly in the treatment of wet age related macular degeneration.

Using bevacizumab, which is much cheaper but is unlicensed for the condition, could save the NHS £84m a year, say the British researchers responsible for one of the trials.

The new data come from the second year of the comparison of age related macular degeneration treatment trials (CATT) and the interim analysis of one year’s results from the inhibit VEGF in age related choroidal neovascularisation (IVAN) trial. Both were presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology at Fort Lauderdale in Florida and published in Ophthalmology.1 2

The trials were designed to discover whether patients given ranibizumab could read five more letters (CATT) or 3.5 more letters (IVAN) on an opticians’ chart, or better, than patients given bevacizumab. In neither trial was this limit exceeded, showing that bevacizumab …

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