Avastin as Good as Lucentis for AMD Treatment
Study: Less-Expensive Avastin Treats Age-Related Macular Degeneration as Well as Lucentis
Lucentis vs. Avastin for AMD continued...
Moreover, the study found that neither Avastin nor Lucentis increased patients' risk of stroke, heart attack, or death -- side effects seen in cancer patients given vastly higher doses of Avastin.
So why would any doctor give a patient $2,000-a-dose Lucentis when $50-a-dose Avastin works just as well?
"When one is selecting drugs for an individual patient, cost is one of many factors, not the only one," Martin said. "In our study we describe the average patient. ... We clearly show equivalence between the two drugs, but that does not mean there are not subsets of patients who might respond better to one drug over another. At the end of the day it is a choice between the doctor and the patient."
Genentech had no role in funding, performing, or interpreting the study. Study drugs were paid for by Medicare and by the National Institutes of Health.
The Avastin/Lucentis study, called the CATT study, was published in the April 28 early online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.